Preparing for Cataract Equipement Failure

Cataract Equipment failure can be a big source of frustration in your OR on surgery day, bringing the potential for surgery cancellations, revenue loss, and unhappy patients and surgeons. Phaco Machines, Phaco Handpieces, Microscopes, and Instruments all play vital roles in surgery and all have the potential for failure. Honestly, it’s inevitable that your OR will experience it at some point. Even if the smallest component of any of the prior mentioned equipment is not fully functional, it can really put a damper on the day.

How do you prepare, making sure that equipment failure does not hinder your surgery day and cause delays or cancellations?

4 ways to be ready for Cataract Equipment Failure.

1) Acquire basic knowledge of how the equipment works.

One of the most valuable tools in dealing with equipment failure is diagnosing the problem.  Knowing what might be causing the issue will help you determine whether it’s a simple issue (ie the tubing line detached from the handpiece or the phaco tip is loose), or a deeper problem (ie the software is malfunctioning). Valuable knowledge of the equipment and how it works can be the difference between a 2 min delay and an entire day of cancellations.

By partnering with Surgical Direct Inc, the pressure on your staff is eliminated! Our knowledgeable and pro-active surgical coordinators play an active role in your OR. Each team member of Surgical Direct Inc. is skilled at resolving equipment failure issues, from diagnosis to solution, to keep the day moving as swiftly as possible.

2) Have backups available and in a designated location.

Having backup supplies and equipment is important to ensure that if an issue arises that cannot be diagnosed and addressed, then backup equipment is available to be substituted for the day. For small items like phaco-tips, tubing packs, and microscope light bulbs, this is a no-brainer. Even having extra peel-packed supplies like lens loaders, and backup instruments in case of contamination is smart. These backup supplies should be located in a designated location in the room for quick access. To take it a step further, having a backup Phaco machine and extra handpieces available (sterilized and ready) on site adds extra confidence to the staff in case deeper technical issues arise.

A partnership with Surgical Direct, means you do not need to purchase or manage stocking backup supplies or equipment. We provide ample amounts of disposable backups as well as equipment backups for every surgery day that you partner with us.

3) Have technical support contact info readily available.

There are times when equipment will fail, and you will not be able to diagnose what’s happening in a timely fashion. If within a few minutes, you cannot decipher what is happening, it’s a good idea to call technical support to try to find answers quickly. Often this contact may be the manufacturer sales representative, etc. Having their contact information close at hand and accessible in order to gain insight quickly can either shed light on a simple solution or be the deciding factor that backup equipment needs to be pulled into the room.

The point is to minimize case downtime as much as possible, and a partnership with Surgical Direct Inc., we provide professional surgical coordinators that will often be able to diagnose and resolve the issue. If the issue constitutes a manufacture service call, our backup equipment is ready to fill in. Additionally, we have excellent relationships with the manufacture vendors and reps and have their contact info ready in case additional support is needed.

4) Have a plan and inform the team.

A detailed plan of action that your surgical team is familiar with will help ensure swift resolve on what to do in case of cataract equipment failure. Training and communication on where backup supplies are kept, general knowledge of instrumentation and terminology, and a contingency plan will help keep everyone on the same page. This will also ease the “panic mode” that can set in when the unexpected happens, keeping everyone calm and on task.

Experience the peace of mind that partnering with Surgical Direct provides, by our customer-centric culture that continually raises the standard of excellent service will help make your cataract program thrive.

Equipment failures happen. We are prepared for the unexpected and that makes the difference when it comes to equipment failures. Partnering with Surgical Direct is the most efficient way for your facility to optimize in this area. Think of the cost savings of supplying backup supplies. Think of the savings on repair costs! Our team provides a deeper level of knowledge, experience, and assurance to the OR that no matter what happens, we help streamline your cataract days successfully and professionally.

Want to know more about Surgical Direct and our services? Check out Why a Cataract Outsourcing Partnership Makes Sense in 2019 to see how Surgical Direct can position your cataract program for growth.

Surgical Direct Inc is a partner that you can trust and depend on!

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Adding a Second OR For Cataracts

In the world of Cataract Surgery, safety is the #1 priority of all OR staff and surgeons during eye-day. In our 20+ years of experience in offering premium Mobile Cataract Services, we’ve realized that a very close #2 priority on eye day is efficiency. Everyone involved (surgeon, staff, and patients) are busy people with things to do, places to go, and people to *see (no pun intended). This makes surgical efficiency a high-priority for cataracts, and one of the best ways to increase your efficiency is adding a second room. However, for many, there are obstacles in the way of achieving the next level of efficiency, and Surgical Direct can make a 2nd room service possible for you and your community.

We have learned the increasing value a surgeon places on a streamlined 2nd room operation in ophthalmology, and by inviting Surgical Direct into your picture, together we can accomplish a larger reach of service to your community. The results are clear! Surgeons are pleased, your staff is supported, and now your facility is maximizing available OR time without costing you more capital.

Adding a Second OR for Cataracts is easy with Surgical Direct.

 

The beauty of partnering with Surgical Direct’s Mobile Cataract Service is that limitations are reduced dramatically and possibilities and options are increased.

 1) We provide double the equipment.

Since the facility no longer needs to purchase Phaco machines, microscopes, and hand-pieces, confining your surgeon to one room is no longer an issue. On 2 room days, we provide all the equipment required for 2 rooms to operate safely and efficiently. This saves the facility upwards of 6 figures in capital investment, maintenance, repairs, and other unexpected costs.

2) We provide double the support.

Having enough equipment to have 2 rooms running doesn’t always make the day more efficient. The team of people that work in the room is what does! Having the right amount of support staff is vital to keep the day moving efficiently. That’s why we provide 1 technician per room on 2 room days. This increases the manpower, technical support, and teamwork in each room so that those 8-15 minutes cases stay 8-15 minutes. We also help with turnover, so that the surgeon can bounce between rooms without waiting. A day that stays on schedule, is a GOOD day!

3) We provide double the supplies.

2 room days typically means a lot of cases. A lot of cases means a lot of supplies. No matter the surgeon and his supply preferences, 12-20 cases in one day calls for a large amount of inventory. Surgical Direct provides all inventory needs for your cataract cases (except for meds). For 2 room days, we fill our cargo vans (sometimes to the roof) with equipment and supplies for a single 2 room day. Think of the shelf space you’ll be saving. Think of the time you’ll be saving in inventory if you didn’t have to order, receive, unpack, and shelf all of that inventory every time the surgeon is scheduled. And since we are on the subject of inventory, we must mention lenses. If the surgeon is doing (eg) 15 cases, you’ll also need about 45 lenses (primary + 2 backup) ready and accounted for before the day starts. With Surgical Direct as a part of your team, you don’t stock case supplies or manage lens consignments. We bring it all with us morning of, and at the end of the day, take all the excess back with us.

So here’s the recap.

Surgical Direct is your partner for all cataract surgical needs for 1 or 2 room days. We provide the latest ophthalmic technology available directly to your OR on surgery day including Phaco machines, microscopes, disposables, lenses, and highly-trained technical support. Surgical Direct is the solution you’ve been looking for to streamline your surgical and operational efficiency. Don’t just take our word for it, read through our testimonials and hear it from our customers.

Interested in finding out more?

Give us a call today at 1-800-346-0544 or email us at sales@surgicaldirectinc.com.

We also offer a Free Demo Day where you can evaluate our services for a day for FREE.

Not in the market for cataract services? Maybe you know someone in your network of surgeons, hospitals, or ASC’s that does. We love referrals!

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The Ins and Outs of IOL Lens Management

In Cataract Surgery, there are many integral parts of the procedure that need a high-attention to detail for that patient to have optimal results. But one of the most important aspects of cataract surgery and its success rate is the IOL Lens Implant.  The surgeon has taken much time and focus on making sure that calculations for the lens implant are dead-accurate. Having the right lenses, specialty lens picks, plus backups for everything just in case is very important, not only for a smooth day but for the patient! Let’s walk through some of the ins and outs of IOL lens management and how we take care of the WHOLE IOL process at Surgical Direct. 

IOL Lens Management is a BIG JOB. 

1) Before Surgery Day

As we already mentioned, the IOL implant is one of the most crucial aspects of cataract surgery. It’s extremely important to be over-prepared in this department, ready for any unforeseen issues that may arise during the case.

Every cataract case should have measurements for 3 possible lens implants, 1) A primary lens, 2) A Sulcus (3-piece) implant, and 3) an Anterior Chamber lens. It’s important to have all 3 of those lens picks available for that specific case. Each of those lenses is requested for specific case scenarios. If the capsule is unstable, the surgeon may request his Sulcus Implant. If a deeper issue arises, the surgeon may request an AC lens. Generally, the primary lens will be implanted in the 85-90th percentile of cases (some situations could be less or more). But for that 10-15% of cases that need a backup lens opened, generally it’s not an optimal scenario for the surgeon, and not having the right lens can make a stressful situation even more stressful.

We say all of that to say, preparedness is crucial!

Let’s say that your surgeon brings 10 cases per surgery day. That’s an immediate 30 lenses that need to be accounted for on that day (from 3 different consignments). That doesn’t include making sure you have backup lenses in case of contaminations. That also doesn’t include the scenario that your surgeon may be requesting premium lenses (like Torics or Multi-focals), or different brands/models throughout the day.

Let’s give you a quick example of scale. In the Toric market alone, now very popular for astigmatism correction, Alcon has 9 levels of correction power. That means that there are 9 different models of Toric that your surgeon may ask for. Each model has a 6-30 Diopter range in half diopter intervals. The leading manufacturers in IOL implants (like Alcon and J&JVision) come out with new models and technology every year. And now, there are Toric-Multifocals that also have different models with different correction powers. With all the different options available today, the days of just having 2-3 consignments to meet all the surgeon’s IOL needs are coming to an end, if not already over.

It’s important to keep pace with this because surgeons will likely request the new technology when it’s available and giving them the opportunity to do so can improve patient satisfaction and offer a higher level of care.

So back to prep, before the day even begins, all of the requested lenses need to be ordered, organized, checked for expiration/contamination, and ensure there are adequate backups for any unforeseen issues. Ask anyone who manages lens consignments….it’s a lot of work. But it doesn’t stop there…

2) During Surgery Day

During surgery, the lenses need to be ordered carefully to be sure that there is NO confusion on which lens is right for that patient. It takes the whole room being focused and aware that the lens that is opened is THE right lens that the Doctor has asked for. Double-checking (even triple-checking) is highly recommended. Every lens will come with its specific manufactured lens implantation device (generally an injector and a cartridge) that needs to be ready in order to properly inject the lens. When you get into having 2-3 different styles of lenses, there needs to be a lot of attention to detail on which lens is being opened and which corresponding injector system needs to be ready. Each lens will come with implant stickers that need to be charted and reported for that patient, not only for medical records but for manufacture implantation reporting and consignment re-ordering purposes.

All of that preparation and work is for a normal, routine case. What if there is a problem with the implant? What if a lens is contaminated? What if a lens is implanted, then explanted due to unforeseen problems? There is extra paperwork that needs to be processed for that specific lens and case.

3) After Surgery Day

An equal amount of effort used in prep and during surgery also needs to be put towards your lens consignment post surgery. Every lens opened and implanted needs to be documented and accounted for. Every lens will have a card that needs to be filled out and sent back to the manufacturer for reporting purposes. Then, you’ll need to process a report for your lens consignments to be refilled. Special reporting needs to happen for lens returns. And all of this has to be done in a timely fashion so that the consignments are fully restocked before the next surgery day (at which the process starts all over again). Shipping costs on lenses and time allotted for restocking your consignments must be considered as well.

Here’s the good news you’ve been waiting for.

Are you ready for it?

Surgical Direct provides a mobile cataract service that not only provides your facility with the latest cataract technology without spending a dollar of capital funds, but we also manage the entire lens process for you!

In addition to supplying state-of-the-art cataract equipment, disposable supplies, and an ‘on-the-ball’ technician, we manage over 50 in-house lens consignments from 3 different lens manufactures, including back-up and specialty lenses like Torics & Multi-Focals. 

Our in-house full-time lens & inventory manager has been managing our lens processes for over 7 years. He spends a considerable amount of time every week on followup with doctors’ offices, coordinating needed lenses for every surgery day, and ensuring we provide the right lens for every patient. If a lens exists and the surgeon asks for it, we can provide it. We take care of all lens requests from the surgeon’s office, lens ordering, special ordering, consignment replenishments, shipping, receiving, and re-stocking.

How much time does your lens management take away from your week?

Call us today and let us take this off your plate! You can try our services first hand for FREE. Sign up for our Free Demo Day and experience Surgical Direct first hand at no charge. (see demo day page for full details).

For an in-depth full listing of what we offer at Surgical Direct, Click Here. 

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3 Vital Components for a Smooth Eye Day

Here at Surgical Direct, we’ve been supporting OR facilities and Ophthalmologists achieve smoother (more efficient) surgery days for nearly 20 years. We’ve picked up a few methods, routines, and systems along the way that can help refine the operations of a cataract surgery day, to be as smooth as possible. Of course, every facility will have its own methods and preferred ways of doing things, and we are always supportive and collaborative. Likewise, surgeons are always in command of the room and have the ultimate say on how things will go. That being said, cataract surgery (and the overall motion of the day) is going to look slightly different in every facility. But there are 3 things that we’ve come to firmly believe in that are the basis a smooth cataract day, no matter the facility.

Here are the 3 absolute necessities for a smooth cataract surgery day. 


1) Reliable, State-of-the-art Equipment

 

There is nothing more frustrating (for staff, surgeon, and patient) than preparing for a big surgery day, only to be met with equipment failures. When equipment fails to work properly, not only does it put the patient at risk (which is the most important factor), but it has the potential to cause unwanted stress over a loss in monthly revenue, rescheduling cases, calling in repairs with service reps, and the unexpected repair costs. When you partner with Surgical Direct,  you significantly lower your risk of letting equipment failure ruin your surgery day. Why? Because at Surgical Direct, we are committed to providing state of the art equipment that works every time. Our equipment is manufacture maintained and surgery ready at all times, but just in case, we also supply backup machines to our accounts on surgery day. If any emergency issue should arise during the day with our equipment (even with our backup equipment), we are ready to run what’s needed to your site as soon as possible to avoid cancellations. You never have to worry about aging equipment again! Plus, you never have to pay for repairs again on cataract equipment.

2) All the right supplies

Having the right supplies ready and organized for each case is vital for the day to run smoothly. Forgetting to pull a certain supply for that special case can slow the case down, which slows your day down. Or there is always the event that your inventory shipment didn’t make it in time and you are low on a needed item. Having all the supplies (included those unexpected backup supplies and instruments) is crucial for a smooth day. When you partner with Surgical Direct,  we take care of all case supplies (including special supplies and lenses) for each of your cases. We always pack extra for the day, in case of contaminations. Plus our technicians are trained to know what the surgeon might need in certain scenarios, and they will be ready to produce that item that no one else in the room has heard of when the doctor requests it.

3) Co-ordinated Teamwork & Turn-over

Teamwork makes the dream work! What makes for a well-oiled cataract surgery machine is everyone in the room knowing their role, doing it well, and keeping a “patient-first” mindset. Who does what during turnover? Do you have enough hands in the room to open sterile supplies, position the bed, prime the machine, and adjust the doctor’s settings? When you partner with Surgical Direct,  you are given a seasoned and knowledgable technician in your room. Our techs are trained to be team players, helping the day move along however they can. From opening sterile supplies, cleaning handpieces, adjusting the doctor’s settings for him, taking out the trash, producing one-off supplies the doctor is asking for, and much more…..our technicians are what make Surgical Direct shine!


Surgical Direct provides a mobile cataract service that saves you time, money, space, and stress.

It really is simple. Surgical Direct will provide the latest cataract equipment to your facility when you need it (just for surgery day – even for 2 rooms days) so you don’t have to spend your capital on cataract equipment. Our equipment is manufacture maintained and routinely serviced with the same service contracts you would have if it were in your facility. We always provide a backup machine in case of equipment failure (because it does happen), and when it does, we pay for the repairs. We provide adequate handpiece volume for your surgery day caseload so surgeries can move along at a normal pace (even with today’s sterilization standards). We provide all the inventory you’ll need for surgery…including case supplies (drapes, blades, cannulas, viscoelastics, etc), instruments, lenses, and those rarely used backup supplies (excluding pre and post-op meds). And all of this comes at a per-case price that is only a percentage of your facility’s cataract reimbursement. OH, and did we mention no long-term contracts?

2019 is the year that you can upgrade your equipment without spending a dollar of capital and save money and time on inventory management. Read more about Why Cataract Outsourcing Makes Sense in 2019

Call us anytime with your questions! Or you can try our services first hand for FREE. Sign up for our Free Demo Day and experience Surgical Direct first hand at no charge. (see demo day page for full details).

 

How much are cataracts really costing you?

When purchasing cataract equipment (phaco machines and ophthalmic microscopes), not only do you have to take into consideration the initial cost but also the long-term expense it will take to keep your equipment maintained and surgery-ready. On top of that, cataract costs can go even deeper into your profit margins when managing your own inventory (case supplies, lenses, and special instruments like tonic markers and CTR inserters). Did you know that partnering with Surgical Direct can dramatically lower how much cataracts cost your facility?  What is the real cost of owning cataract equipment? Let us break it down for you…

What’s the real cost of owning cataract equipment and managing your own supplies?

1) Initial Capital

Easily the highest expense of owning cataract equipment is purchasing it. Purchasing cataract equipment (phaco machines, handpieces, and microscopes) can easily cost your facility over 6 figures in capital expenditure to be ready to facilitate cataract surgery (and if you are considering having 2 rooms operational for cataracts, double that figure). That’s no small dent. But the real challenge in the ophthalmic specialty is keeping up with how quickly new technology is released. Software upgrades typically are released annually which cost you to upgrade. On average, manufacturers release new phaco platforms every 7-10 years, meaning that you may need to re-invest in new technology on that timeframe. Ophthalmology is one of the most rapidly advanced specialties in the medical field.

2) Repairs and Preventative Maintenance

If you purchase cataract equipment for your facility, you must take into consideration the cost of maintaining your equipment. Phaco machine service contracts with manufacturers can cost an average of 5-7k per year (in a multiple year contract). And that’s just 1 phaco machine PM plan. Now let’s talk about repairs. Here’s a list of the most common phaco issues concerning repairs:

  • Phaco Foot Switch (3-5k)
  • Phaco handpiece failures (2-4k)
  • IV pole malfunctions (2-4k)
  • Fluidics hardware malfunctions (3k+)

These are average prices and the most common issues you’ll see from our experience. While still on the topic of phaco repairs, we also have to mention the loss of business and costs that correlate if your surgery day is halted or canceled by equipment failure. Not only will your facility lose revenue due to canceling surgery, but it’s a major hassle to reschedule patients, coordinate special service calls, and so on. 

3) Case Supply Waste, Lens Management, & Shipping Costs

If you manage your own case supply inventory at your facility, you’ll know that there is almost always some percentage of loss you’ll experience (from expirations to contaminations to damages). With cataract supplies, you may also know that there are specialty items necessary to have on hand just in case the surgeon might need them. Items like Capsular Tension Rings, Malyugin Rings, Iris Hooks, and Vitrectors (just to name a few) are items that need to be available if the surgeon asks for them. Some of these items are so rarely used, that they often expire on your shelf before they are used, which is a loss in your inventory. And of course, because of the nature of these supplies, they tend to be the most expensive of the cataract case supplies that you’ll order.

Managing your own lens consignments can cost you a significant amount of time and money between processing orders and reorders, shipping charges, special orders, restocking, etc. We also cannot forget to mention all the shipping costs that you will pay for all inventory items including lenses, regular supplies, overnight charges for last minute orders, and instrument repairs. Shipping costs on supplies and lenses can be significant over time.

4) Time & Space

Think for a moment of all the time that’s invested in preparing for cataract day. Ordering inventory, stocking supplies, pulling case supplies for surgery, managing multiple vendor PO’s, custom ordering specialty lenses, reordering and restocking used lenses; the list goes on…and that’s just for a normal day when nothing goes wrong! What about when a machine goes down? Patients have to be rescheduled and surgery needs to be re-coordinated with the surgeon. If transportation is involved for patients, that needs to be re-arranged. Service calls with the manufacturer need to be coordinated, arranged, invoiced, and paid. All of this is time that you (or someone on your staff) is taking out of their week to manage. When it comes to space, many surgical locations are limited in storage space. Cataract equipment and case supplies can eat up 200-400 sq ft of your precious storage space.

Surgical Direct provides a mobile cataract service that saves you time, money, space, and stress.

It really is simple. Surgical Direct will provide the latest cataract equipment to your facility when you need it (just for surgery day – even for 2 rooms days) so you don’t have to spend your capital on cataract equipment. Our equipment is manufacture maintained and routinely serviced with the same service contracts you would have if it were in your facility. We always provide a backup machine in case of equipment failure (because it does happen), and when it does, we pay for the repairs. We provide adequate handpiece volume for your surgery day caseload so surgeries can move along at a normal pace (even with today’s sterilization standards). We provide all the inventory you’ll need for surgery…including case supplies (drapes, blades, cannulas, viscoelastics, etc), instruments, lenses, and those rarely used backup supplies (excluding pre and post-op meds). And all of this comes at a per-case price that is only a percentage of your facility’s cataract reimbursement. OH, and did we mention no long-term contracts?

2019 is the year that you can upgrade your equipment without spending a dollar in capital and save money and time on inventory management.

Check out our post about 5 Headaches Eliminated with Mobile Cataract Services to see how Surgical Direct can help alleviate your cataract surgery woes.

Call us anytime with your questions! Or you can try our services first hand for FREE. Sign up for our Free Demo Day and experience Surgical Direct first hand at no charge. (see demo day page for full details).

Why a Cataract Outsourcing Partnership makes sense in 2019

Welcome to 2019! The 2019 National Cataract Reimbursement rates were just released. ASC reimbursements slightly dropped from 2018 and Hospital reimbursements remained the same. There is has never been a better time to try mobile cataract services.

A cataract outsourcing partnership with Surgical Direct raises your efficiency and profitability when it comes to cataracts. Efficiency on surgery day is a big part of the puzzle in growing your cataract business, and In 2019, you have a real opportunity to do that. A partnership with Surgical Direct allows you to focus on your patients and practice, leaving all the surgery-day details to us, and raising your efficiency.  Let us break it down for you…

Cataract Outsourcing Partnership Benefits

1) Keep your Capital funds

The Ophthalmology specialty (from a surgical facility’s point of view) has never been the biggest ‘money-maker’. Other specialties have always been more profitable. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to invest large amounts of capital into ophthalmic equipment. Forget about spending your capital on eye equipment. We provide the latest Phaco machines, Microscopes, YAG Lasers, SLT Lasers, and instrumentation to you affordably on an as-needed basis.  You only use it when you need it, and it won’t be taking up space in your storage areas. PLUS, no need to worry about repairs (be on the lookout later this month for an in-depth article on equipment repairs).

2) Lose the stress of Case Supply & Lens Inventory

Think of all the time, energy, and focus it takes to keep your cataract supplies stocked in inventory. Think of all the time it takes to manage your IOL consignments. Re-Ordering. Special Ordering. Re-Stocking. Expiration Losses. The list goes on…and those hours add up! Lose that stress, and let Surgical Direct handle all of you case supplies, IOL management, custom orders, and surgery day prep.

3) Rely on our Expertise

Every surgery day with Surgical Direct provides your facility with one of our sharp, trained, and pleasant cataract technicians. Our cataract technicians know what they are doing, having undergone months of training before working on their own, and most have years of experience (which equals thousands of cataract case hours under their belts). Think of them as the Cataract Experts. Our guys are trained to know what to do if a machine acts up, the case requires a special item, or just lending a helping hand by taking out the trash. Read all about our techs in our recent post about the “Cataract Caddie”.

The 3 reasons above are just the beginning. We didn’t even get to mention instrumentation support, our OD referral network, 2-room day upgrades, or YAG and SLT services.

Check out our post about  5 Headaches Eliminated with Mobile Cataract Services to see how Surgical Direct can help alleviate your cataract surgery woes.

Take it from us, if you are wanting to grow your cataract business, 2019 is the year that you need to try a partnership with our Mobile Cataract Services.

Call us anytime with your questions! Or you can try our services first hand for FREE. Sign up for our Free Demo Day and experience Surgical Direct first hand at no charge. (see demo day page for full details).

Are you using the right Ophthalmic Microscope?

Technology does make a difference.

Today’s Ophthalmic market offers outstanding options in regards to microscopes. Just like the phaco market, Microscopes have adapted new advanced technologies in the last 10 years that far outweigh the years before.

We’ve encountered many different personality types in our surgeons. Some prefer to use what’s comfortable to them, regardless of how old the microscope may be. Some prefer to incorporate the latest technology into their surgical process as soon as it hits the market. Truth is,  we work with some incredibly skilled surgeons! But regardless of skill level, we’ve come to an understanding that surgical microscopes and the technology onboard DO play a big role in the surgeon’s comfort level and success during surgery. And that’s really what it comes down to, the surgeon’s comfort. However, regardless of how comfortable a surgeon may be with old technology, we believe that the new technology available today can help the surgeon achieve better results if they are willing to give it a try.

Our continued hope is to be a resource of knowledge to you as you grow your cataract business. So, in this article, we want to discuss some of the benefits onboard newer microscope technology.

What benefits do new Ophthalmic Microscopes provide?

1) Red Reflex & Illumination

In case you are reading this and are unaware of what Red Reflex is, red reflex is an “illumination” of the anterior chamber achieved by bouncing light off of the retina back towards the front of the eye. This is achieved by using dual lights, strategically positions and directed. This creates a much brighter, clearer view of the cataract and the capsule. This technology has existed for years, but older technologies had a smaller “zone” where reflex was achieved. This meant that if the patient or microscope moved slightly, the surgeon would lose his enhanced view. Red Reflex has come a long way in the last 10 years. The Alcon LuxOR LX3 claims a 6x greater Red Reflex zone than other microscopes. The Zeiss Lumera family offers what they call “Stereo Coaxial Illumination” which they claim to be excellent reflex even on very mature cataracts. Leica’s M822 offers a similar coaxial “OttoFlex” reflex system, which offers a larger than normal reflex zone than previous Leica models. If none of the other benefits make a difference to you, we believe that greater reflex zones make a substantial difference in the cataract experience for the surgeon, and it’s worth a try!

2) Light Sources & Objective Lenses

Each brand of microscope will have slightly different setups of light source and objective lens placement. The LuxOR LX3 Illumin-i technology, for example, places the objective lens above the light source, claiming that this creates clearer illumination as the light does not pass through the objective lens like other models. The Leica M822 uses a dual illumination system that combines LED & Halogen light sources. Why does this matter? Every part of the microscope makes a difference in what the surgeon sees and experiences during the surgery. To the trained eye, these all make noticeable differences.

3) Integrated Technology 

Most new microscope models have integrated technology options on board that may be useful and helpful to the surgeon. Some of the models we’ve mentioned above have different options for integration. For example, some have the ability to link to enhanced visual overlay systems that give the surgeon technical overlay layouts in his ocular view. Most come with an option for video attachments, savable surgeon user settings, wireless Bluetooth foot pedals, auto-locking arms, and more.

You may be looking at the list of benefits and feel that most are non-essential for a skilled surgeon. Depending on the surgeon, that may be true. But the main thing to take into consideration is that the comfort level of the surgeon is paramount during the surgery. If the surgeon doesn’t have to struggle to keep the eye in focus or in red reflux, that will make the surgeon’s job easier. If their ocular view is clearer, crisper, and brighter without turning the light up to 10, the surgeon should be more comfortable during the operation. These factors can even benefit the most skilled surgeon, bringing more comfort and ease to the operation. Interested in a side-by-side comparison? Take a look at this article published by the Journal of Clinical Case Reports, comparing the newer Leica & Zeiss models side by side.

We feel all the benefits listed above should at least be looked at and considered. And here’s the best part…if you are interested in upgrading your cataract technology in the near future, Surgical Direct is able to help you upgrade without spending your Capital.

Surgical Direct Inc provides the latest cataract technology to your facility for $0 of capital investment. We provide tailored equipment and supply lists for the surgeon’s specific needs, including the desire to try new technology as it comes out. With Surgical Direct, you get a safer, more efficient cataract experience in your facility. Don’t believe us? Read through our testimonials to see what our customers are saying about our services.

Interested in learning more about what we offer? Visit our Mobile Cataract Services page to find out more about what we do. Have a more pressing question or need? Call us directly at 1-800-346-0544.

Upgrading Cataract Technology Improves Safety & Efficiency

From a physician’s point of view, the safety of their patients during cataract surgery is of utmost importance. No surgeon wants to put their patient at risk during an operation. No surgeon wants anything less than the best outcomes in their patient’s vision. What if I told you that using old equipment puts your patients at a higher percentage of risk than when using new cataract technology? The truth is that you may be the most skilled cataract surgeon in the US and still have a percentage of risk based solely on the equipment you are using. Not only are their safety benefits when upgrading cataract technology, but there can also be time saved per case (efficiency benefits), potentially making your surgery day more profitable. In this article, we want to explore a few areas of the cataract procedure, phacoemulsification, and new technology that have been largely improved upon over the last 10 years.

So, what are some safety and efficiency benefits that come from upgrading cataract technology?

1) Phacoemulsification Efficiency

Newer Phaco platforms such as the Centurion Vision System and the B&L Stellaris have greatly improved ultrasonic cutting platforms that bring greater cutting efficiency at lower output levels. This allows for a reduction in Cumulative Dispersed Energy (CDE), cutting through dense cataracts with lower power thresholds. Lower CDE means better next day outcomes for the patient. Better cutting efficiency also means that there is a higher percentage of your cases that will take less time to emulsify the cataract. This has the potential to reduce the case time per patient, which in effect can allow for the potential for more cases in a surgery day. Read this interesting article about Torsional amplitude from the Centurion. Also, This article published by IMedPub Journal offers great insight on metrics and efficiency comparisons between the Alcon Infiniti & Centurion. We feel it’s worth a read and can offer deeper technical insight into the benefits of upgrading cataract technology. Also feel free to review an earlier post of ours “Why Upgrade from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion” for our in-house benefits list of upgrading to the Centurion. 

2) Enhanced Chamber Stability

Almost every new phaco machine on the market boasts about their enhanced fluidic systems onboard. Centurion’s “Active Fluidics” is the industries only non-gravity based fluidic system that holds intra-ocular chamber pressure by active pressure plates. This system allows for an incredibly “quiet” chamber, reducing chamber bounce and unexpected pressure surge. In short, this technology reduces the risk of a post-occlusion surge dramatically, making every case safer for the patient and smoother for the surgeon. The B&L Stellaris and WhiteStar Signature Pro alike boast about enhancements in their fluidic programs. Both of these machines still operate by gravity-based fluidics, but both tote noticeable improvements in chamber stability due to machine’s software updates.

Newer phaco systems, across the board, give you safer, more controlled environments in which to operate in. Safer for the patient + more stability for the surgeon = a boost of confidence operatively and quicker/smoother surgeries.

3) Red Reflux & Newer Optics

Another area of benefit from upgrading cataract technology is in optics. Ophthalmic Microscope technology over the last 10 years has greatly improved! Newer microscopes like the Alcon LuxOR LX3 offer a 6x greater area of red reflux than other microscopes on the market. It also has a different objective lens position (above the light source) creating un-hindered illumination. Both of these technologies together provide an incredibly clear view and a depth of focus to the surgeon. Zeiss is known for their incredible optics, and the OPMI Lumera models offer amazing optical views to the surgeon. No matter what you choose, a newer microscope with newer technology on board will provide a better optical view of the surgery than an older microscope. Sharper focus and clearer views of the eye will assist the surgeon in completing the case safer and more efficiently.

These three areas only scratch the surface of new technology in refractive surgery. You may be thinking by now that throughout this article we’ve just been stating the obvious. I kind of agree. It seems fairly obvious that newer technology will assist the surgeon in performing surgery more efficiently. But the truth is that there are many surgeons who become so comfortable with the platform they are using (and have been using for years), that they are hesitant to try new technology, even if it would help them improve their outcomes and provide more safety for their patients. On the other side of the coin, there are surgeons who want the newest technology as it comes out. At Surgical Direct, we understand both dynamics and provide options for everyone.

Surgical Direct Inc provides the latest cataract technology to your facility for $0 of capital investment.

We provide tailored equipment and supply lists for the surgeon’s specific needs, including the desire to try new technology as it comes out. With Surgical Direct, you get a safer, more efficient cataract experience in your facility. Don’t believe us? Read through our testimonials to see what our customers are saying about our services.

Interested in learning more about what we offer? Visit our Mobile Cataract Services page to find out more about what we do. Have a more pressing question or need? Call us directly at 1-800-346-0544.

Save Capital Dollars on Cataracts

Surgical Direct can help your bottom line.

Over the last few years, Medicare reimbursements for Cataract Surgery have been on the slow but steady incline (between 1-5% depending on the type of facility). This is great news if you are facilitating or interested in facilitating cataracts in your OR, and should be an incentive to pursue cataracts. But this doesn’t help you save capital dollars on cataracts.

Even though the reimbursements have risen, the cost of surgery is increasing and investing in new technology can put a big dent in your capital funds. However, not investing can stifle the inflow of patients that surgeons want to bring to your facility because they don’t want to be stuck using old technology. Surgical facility administrators are then forced to make a decision…(a) invest a large amount of capital or (b) run the risk of losing the business. This all depends on the annual case volume of cataracts in your facility. However, it’s fairly safe to say that if your facility is a surgery center or hospital, investing in new Cataract Technology may not actually help your bottom line.

So the question poses itself here.

If you are not an Eye Center, can you stay current with technology and equipment while keeping cataracts profitable in your facility?

Yes, you can!

Save Capital Dollars on Cataracts with Surgical Direct’s Mobile Cataract Services.

Surgical Direct provides a unique cataract equipment outsourcing model that eliminates the need for capital expenditure on cataract equipment, making your cataract cases profitable from day1. Our pricing model is priced by the case and is only a percentage of your Medicare reimbursement. Not to mention, NO long-term contracts. What does this mean? This means you get the latest technology for cataracts (and a happy surgeon), without spending a dime of capital, and your facility makes money every case.

To get an idea of a real-life example of savings that we can deliver, you should read this article “There’s that Cataract Van Again” from September’s issue of Outpatient Surgery Magazine, written directly about our services by one of our long-time customers.

In the article, you will see a cost breakdown of this particular surgery center’s annual savings in a Buy vs Outsource comparison.

Our goal is to be a source of information and a resource to you. We know that outsourcing equipment does not make sense for everyone. That’s why we have put together a quick checklist for you to see if outsourcing can save capital dollars on cataracts in your facility. If you answer yes to any of the 5 below, we believe you are a candidate.

  1. You are a facility that is looking to upgrade your existing cataract equipment.
  2. You are a hospital or surgery center that facilitates cataract cases and/or you have multiple surgeons requiring different technology and case supplies.
  3. You are currently not facilitating cataracts in your facility but have the desire to start and lack the capital to get it going.
  4.  You simply don’t have the time and manpower to keep up with the intense inventory management required for eyes.
  5. You have the capital, but you are not sure you want to invest in eyes because you are unsure of the Doctors long-term commitment to the platform that is being requested.

All of the scenarios above are scenarios we’ve seen first hand in facilities that were at a crossroads about purchasing new equipment, simply because they could not justify the capital expenditure. That is the beauty of outsourcing. You get the latest technology in your facility, spending $0 capital. But the real beauty of our service model doesn’t stop there. Our services include a whole slew of other benefits like inventory management of all cataract case supplies, lens consignment management, hands-on technicians in your OR on every surgery day, and more.

Interested in learning more about what we offer? Visit our Mobile Cataract Services page to find out more about what we do. Or call us directly at 314-997-4455.

5 Headaches Eliminated with Mobile Cataract Services

As with every surgical procedure, Cataract Surgery comes with a fair share of preparation, work, and readiness in order to have a smooth day with good outcomes. Whether you use Mobile Cataract Services or not, preparation is essential for a smooth “eye day”. Pre-operatively, there are supplies to be ordered and pulled, lenses to be picked, equipment to be checked, and the room made ready. Intra-operatively, equipment has to be calibrated properly for every case, machine settings adjusted for difficult cases, room turnover has to be timely, and back up supplies/lenses ready and available on standby in case they are needed. Post-operatively, the equipment has to be cleaned according to manufactures standards, supplies have to be re-ordered for the next surgery day, and not to mention all of the paperwork!

All the preparation and energy mentioned above are standard for cataract surgical cases. But what happens when you have a difficult case, an equipment failure, or an instrument come back broken after a case? Your work (and time) has likely just doubled! These are what we call “headaches”. We call them headaches because we have found that many surgical facilities that are not an “Ophthalmic-only Surgery Center” struggle with keeping up with all the details that encompass Eye Day.

So, how can Mobile Cataract Services help eliminate these headaches?

Let’s look at 6 “headaches” that have the potential to be eliminated using Surgical Direct’s Mobile Cataract Services.

1) Never-ending Inventory

Routine Supplies: Cataract Surgery is generally a very successful and routine surgical procedure. A skilled surgeon can perform 10-20+ surgeries a day depending on his/her level of skill. High volume surgeons require large amounts of inventory to get through their surgery day due to the number of cases they perform. It’s also vital to have back-ups of everything in case contaminations occur. Standard case supplies such as blades, drapes, cannulas, BSS, viscoelastic, lenses, and instruments are needed every case and can total up to 30+ items per case. Each surgeon has their preference for supplies, brands, and specialty instruments. If you have more than one surgeon operating in your facility, the inventory list can become rather large, and each can be drastically different in spec from the other.

Specialty Supplies: In Cataract Surgery, there are rarely-used specialty items that a surgeon may call for from time to time in certain situations. A number of these items are so rarely used that it is possible if not likely that they will expire on the shelf before they are used. However, if you do not have these items on-hand when they are needed, it can be detrimental to that patient’s vision. Keeping the items on hand can be frustrating and expensive, and often results in a loss.

Lens Consignments: There is a lot of time and energy that must go into managing a lens consignment. In most cases, a surgeon will require 2 or 3 different lenses on hand for each patient, requiring the management of up to 3 consignments. And if you have multiple surgeons operating at your facility, that number could increase based on their preferences. On top of that, specialty lenses like Toric and Multifocal models are becoming popular, but a surgeon’s volume in that particular lens model may not be enough for you to receive a full consignment. This means that each specialty lens must be ordered separately and arrive in time for surgery.

Surgical Direct’s Mobile Services has the potential to eliminate all the inventory headaches. We bring tailored surgeon-specific supply lists, specialty items, and backup supplies into your facility on surgery day, including lenses. This inventory will never touch your shelves and are climate controlled in our clean storage facility. You will not have to deal with ordering supplies, replenishing lens consignments, or stocking your shelves with eye supplies again.

2) Limited Storage Space

As mentioned above, Cataract supplies (especially with high-volume surgeons) can equate to a lot of inventory. This can also equate to a lot of space used up on your shelves. We can attest first hand that not all surgical facilities have adequate amounts of storage space for all the inventory that is needed. Including inventory, the surgical equipment must be stored when not in use. After being in hundreds of surgical facilities, we know that finding a few square feet to store a microscope can be a challenge. Also, take into account that an Ophthalmologist may only operate in your facility 1-2 times per month. This means that all of his inventory and equipment uses up valuable space in your facility for 28 days a month. It just sits there!

In our Mobile Cataract Service model, Surgical Direct brings all equipment and supplies into your facility on the day of surgery. This eliminates the storage space “headache” from the equation, freeing up loads of shelf and floor space in your storage rooms.

3) Equipment Failure & Repairs

Now this one is a major headache. It’s a surgical staff’s worst nightmare to have equipment failure. Every other detail in the day could be running as smoothly as possible, and then everything comes to a standstill when the Phaco Machine alerts an error message. Or the Phaco Handpiece will not pass its pre-surgery test. Or there is a problem with the Microscope and the surgeon cannot bring it into focus. What do you do? How do you fix it? Malfunctions like this can easily cause cancellations and frustration for staff, surgeon, and patients alike.

When you use Surgical Direct, you gain a qualified, well-trained technician on surgery day. Our technicians bring the equipment to your facility and ensure that all the equipment is working efficiently throughout the day. If an equipment failure should occur, our technicians are trained to diagnose the problem and provide solutions to fix it. If the problem is deeper and cannot be addressed on site, it’s our policy to always have a backup machine on-hand in case of such situations so that the day can keep moving forward as planned.

4) Staffing and Training Holes

Adequately staffing the room on eye day is an important key to having a smooth and timely cataract day. Circulators and scrub technicians already have their hands full of requirements and tasks throughout the case. In our experience, it is very effective to have another person in the room each case, that can help with the machine, supply-runs, turnover, and opening extra supplies. The headache lies in that many facilities do not have staffing for an “extra hand” in the room, especially on a busy day in the OR. Having someone well-trained in the technique of opening sterile supplies is very helpful. An added benefit would be to have someone who is well-versed in the equipment and how it works, able to make machine adjustments for the surgeon on request, and troubleshoot problems.

This is where we come in. As mentioned, Surgical Direct’s Mobile Cataract Services provides a technician that can provide all of the above. Our technicians are trained in Aseptic technique annually, trained how to open sterile supplies, adjust equipment settings, and provide outstanding support. On top of that, they are friendly, alert, and ready to help wherever needed. Our technicians truly are the difference in our service model vs other services and will bring a whole new level of comfort and ease into the OR.

5) Surgery Day Anxiety

Anxiety has a way of affecting our performance. When under stress, we react to situations in ways we normally would not react. The 4 previous headaches discussed in this article are common areas that we have encountered frustration amongst Hospital and ASC administrators and staff members. It’s the culmination of all of these put together that bring “Surgery Day Anxiety”. We believe that our Mobile Cataract Services can bring your surgery day anxiety down to 0, for your staff and for the surgeon. Time and time again, we are told by our customers that Eye Day is no longer a source of anxiety, but is enjoyable, smooth, and a good day.

Surgical Direct exists to serve you!

Are you considering a Mobile Cataract Service for your hospital or ASC? Are you a surgeon who knows of a similar situation in a facility as described in this article? Please reach out to us in the comments below and tell us about your “Surgery Day Anxiety”.

Perhaps we can help be the solution.