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RC Hospital considers robotic surgery technology

OLIVIA -- RC Hospital and Clinics is looking at offering robotic-assisted surgery services, Nathan Blad, hospital CEO, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

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Tom Cherveny / Tribune file photo RC Hospital is shown in Olivia in this 2015 file photo. Hospital officials are considering adding robotic surgery.

OLIVIA - RC Hospital and Clinics is looking at offering robotic-assisted surgery services, Nathan Blad, hospital CEO, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Board members for the county-owned hospital have been exploring the possibility and are expected to make a decision next week, according to Blad.

If approved, Blad said officials believe the hospital would become the first critical access hospital in Minnesota to invest in the new technology.

Critical access is a designation given to certain rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

There is a "high price of admission" in terms of the investment needed to acquire the technology, according to Blad. He said the hospital has been discussing the possibility with a supplier and has been "able to get costs down significantly to where it is in the realm of reality.''

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The hospital's general surgeon, Dr. Jared Slater, M.D., has experience with robotic-assisted technology while serving at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Rochester. His skills as a surgeon, and the hospital's modern surgical suites developed with the construction of the new hospital, are also very important in the hospital's ability to consider this technology, the CEO told the commissioners.

Blad said the new technology would benefit patients. The improved care made possible by the technology can result in shorter recovery times, he said.

The technology being eyed by the hospital is identical to that which Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar recently adopted, he said. Rice began robotic-assisted surgery in 2015.

Related Topics: RENVILLE COUNTYOLIVIA
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