Glen Rose Medical Center adds robot to surgical operation

By Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — Beginning May 1, Glen Rose Medical Center will begin using its latest tool to provide high-quality, top-of-the-line health care to the residents of Somervell County and the surrounding areas. 

GRMC CEO Michael Honea said the hospital has recently added the da Vinci X for certain robot-assisted surgeries beginning next month. 

“In small rural hospitals it’s not something you typically see,” he said. “It’s bringing more lines of services to Glen Rose, so people don’t have to travel to get their health care needs.”

Staff at Glen Rose Medical Center ready for the use of the da Vinci X beginning May 1.

Honea said the robot will allow surgeons to be more precise in their movements, and its use will also reduce recovery time for patients. 

The addition of the robot will allow GRMC to perform more surgeries in the areas of gynecology and urology as well as larger abdominal cases that it generally hasn’t performed in the past. It will also be a recruiting tool to bring in additional doctors. 

Honea said the $1.2 million price tag will be covered by the volume of cases in which the robot will be used. He said an established surgeon has agreed to set up practice in Glen Rose and he will begin performing surgeries 2-3 days a week.

The da Vinci X robot will now be used for certain surgeries at Glen Rose Medical Center.

If the new surgeon continues with the same volume he has done elsewhere, Honea said it could mean $2 million a year to the hospital’s bottom line.

“It’s a big investment for us, but we’ve done the return on investment on it and it looks really good,” said Honea, who took over as CEO just over a year ago. “Typically, hospitals this size don’t have the means or the volume to sustain it, but we actually have the volume to sustain it.”

Honea said the hospital had to do some upgrades in the surgical area to make it possible to add the da Vinci X.

In addition to the da Vinci X, the hospital is in the process of adding or has recently added orthopedic surgery with an established surgeon; cardiac and rehab services; swing bed services; and teleNuerology services in conjunction with Medical City in the Metroplex. He said they are also looking to procure grants in an effort to add a step down unit and ICU. 

“There are a lot of things going and a lot of changes, but they are all for the good,” Honea said. We’re moving forward on a lot of things to provide service lines that will benefit the community.”

He said the hospital has to continually look for more services, especially with the growth projected for the area.

“We’re looking at what’s coming and we want to be able to meet the needs of the community as we have more people coming in and to be able to provide more medical services here,” he said.