A world first in Erasmus MC: a supermarket between the operating rooms. An AH To Go supermarket was opened a few months ago behind the doors of the Erasmus MC OR centre.


OR staff can now go there to get a bite to eat, without having to change first. In the past, medical staff members wanting to leave the ward during a break had to change first in keeping with hygiene regulations. Quite often, there is no time to change. According to Dave Gonlag, member of the anaesthesia staff, ‘Sometimes you just have a few minutes to take a break, for instance because an operation is taking much time. There is no time then to change and get something to eat from one of the restaurants in the public areas. We can now use that limited time to get a quick bite of food within the ward itself. Thus, we don’t need to change, can enjoy a quick snack and carry on with renewed energy.’


OR staff may also be called at night to deal with emergency surgery. ‘It is then crucial that you get to the hospital as soon as possible and it is handy that we have easy access to the mini supermarket in such unexpected situations. After all, there is no time to fix a quick buttie at home.’

Dave Gonlag, anesthesia assistant, Erasmus MC.


Especially fresh products delivered daily are for sale in the supermarket. And obviously coffee, the most popular product. The buns are baked in the AH store in the Passage of Erasmus MC, from where they are taken to the OR centre on the sixth floor. Before replenishing the shelves, AH employees will put on a temporary disposable OR outfit. Other than that, the AH To Go store is unstaffed. Customers can pay at either of the two self-service check-outs.


‘Admittedly, there is something idiosyncratic about a supermarket within an OR centre and it definitely has a touch of innovation. All of this chimes with the kind of city that Rotterdam is. My colleagues and I are really thrilled about it; it makes quite a difference with one of those regular doughy sandwiches. I really look forward to a big Italian bun with chicken curry plus a smoothie. And it is practical into the bargain; we can now use the limited time we have to get something fresh to eat and drink.’

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