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.

Why upgrade from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion?

In 2013, Alcon introduced the Centurion Vision System to the North American Market. Alcon for decades has been an industry leader in cataract surgical technology, leading the charge in innovative surgical platforms such as the Legacy, Infiniti, and now the Centurion.

With decades of experience in cataract surgery at Surgical Direct, we have never seen a machine that has offered so many practical and technological benefits as does the Centurion. Before we go further,  we just want to make clear that we believe that the Phaco platform of choice in your facility is ultimately a decision in the hands of your surgeon. We offer all current Phaco platforms available today to our customers, based on their preference. However, we believe that if you are still using the Alcon Infiniti for your cataract procedures, that there are great benefits available to you in upgrading from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion.

So, Why should you upgrade from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion?

Let’s look at some of the main differentiating advantages between the Alcon Infiniti and Alcon Centurion.

(1) Fluidics

Infiniti – The Alcon Infiniti uses a custom fluidics software that is powered by gravity flow. This means that the BSS bottle is placed on the automatically adjusted IV Pole, and is raised or lowered to accommodate the surgeon’s preferences in each step of the procedure. The bottle height determines the depth of the chamber within the eye, and each step in the procedure typically has slightly different parameters. Gravity-based fluidics has been a standard in Phaco technology for decades and still has certain benefits. The only downfall to a gravity-based fluidic system is that the chamber will tend to fluctuate each time the surgeon steps on or off the pedal. This can create sudden increases/decreases in pressure inside the eye. Additionally, a gravity-based fluidic system has little control over a post-occlusion surge from occurring.

Centurion – The Alcon Centurion introduced a ground-breaking technology in cataract surgery called “Active Fluidics TM”. The main difference between “active” and gravity (although there are many), is that Active Fluidics uses sensor-directed plates that squeeze the bag of BSS in a controlled environment. These plates are hyper-sensitive (down to single-digit mmHg readings of pressure in the eye) and are automated based on the pressure reading inside the eye using pressure sensors.

In short, Centurion actually controls the pressure in the eye dynamically, keeping a constant state of pressure based on the inputted settings. This virtually eliminates the chance of a post-occlusion surge, because the plates adjust according to the pressure reading, making Active Fluidics the safest fluidic platform available today. In our experience, each surgeon that has used Centurion will rave about the chamber being stable and “quiet”. In turn, this allows the surgeon to be more at ease during his cases, not worrying about a surge in intraocular pressure. Relaxed Surgeon = Better Outcomes!

More info on the Centurion’s “Active Fluidics”

(2) Energy

Infiniti – The Alcon Infiniti introduced the “Ozil” Torsional power to the phaco market. This brought a different ultrasonic motion to the Phaco tip that reduced overall energy displaced in the eye significantly compared to previous Phaco technologies. With the power of traditional phaco power combined with Alcon’s new “Ozil” power, total energy levels per case were reduced. Lower energy output in the eye during surgery, the better.

Centurion – With the release of the Alcon Centurion, came the release of the “Balanced Tip”. The balanced tip (only available for use with the Centurion) harnesses the Torsional power of the tip in a different way, dispersing the energy in a more efficient way. What does this mean? This means that the energy used in each case is more effective. Even at lowered power outputs, the “Balanced Tip” can cut more efficiently, reducing overall power outputs into eye significantly on each case. This makes for a happy surgeon because lower energy output typically means better vision outcomes for their patients.

More info on the Centurion’s “Energy Delivery”

(3) Practicality

Infiniti – The Infiniti has first released in the early 2000s in the North American Market. With a number of software updates since its first release, Infiniti has continued to be supported and improved upon by Alcon until 2013 when the Centurion was released. What this means is that no updates or improvements have been made to the Infiniti software for the last 5+ years. Infiniti machines will start to have a higher risk of break down and malfunction simply due to older parts. Plus, Alcon has made an obvious manufacturing shift due to their new technology offering, and fewer replacement parts for Infiniti are being manufactured. If you still have an Infiniti in your facility, just by simple math, it’s only a matter of time before a decision will have to be made to upgrade.

Centurion – The Alcon Centurion comes with many practical features that make upgrading from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion an easy choice. Aside from what we’ve mentioned already from a surgical aspect, there are quite a few other practical upgrades to this platform.

A)Wireless FootPedal. This seems like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but to the surgeon and room staff, the wireless foot pedal is actually a very nice upgrade. Alternating from left eyes to right eyes is easier. Room turnover (rolling beds in and out) no longer have to worry about chords. It’s a small thing, but in our experience, is a nice feature.

B) Handpieces. When you upgrade to Centurion, you no longer have to buy all new handpieces.  Even though Alcon introduced a new handpiece with this system, you are not tied to using them. You are able to use any of the old “Ozil” handpieces with Centurion and still enjoy all the new fluidic and energy features. Why is this important? With the ever-changing sterilization requirements from joint commission (or other governing medical bodies), having a shortage of handpieces can make a heavy cataract day difficult. We think it’s a very nice feature.

C) AutoSert IOL. With Centurion comes the opportunity to use Alcon’s “AutoSert IOL Delivery System”. This is a motor-driven IOL injector that hooks into the Centurion, allowing for single-handle injection of the IOL at predetermined insertion speeds. A very nice feature that brings more stability to this vital step of the cataract procedure.

More info on Alcon Centurion and its features.

There are many more amazing features that Centurion has to offer. Perhaps you were already well aware of the benefits of using Centurion, but your facility doesn’t have the capital funds to purchase Centurion. Or maybe you have multiple surgeons operating in your facility, and one wants Centurion, and the other does not.

Surgical Direct exists to serve. With our unique Mobile Cataract Outsourcing model, we are able to help you upgrade from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion with NO upfront capital investment. On top of that, our well-trained and professional surgical coordinators know all the ins-and-outs of Centurion and will help your staff acclimate to the change in platform. We make it easy.

Are you thinking about upgrading from Alcon Infiniti to Alcon Centurion? Leave us a comment and let us know your reservations. We are confident that we can help make it possible in your facility.

Want more info about Surgical Direct?

Click HERE for info pertaining to Hospitals. 

Click HERE for info pertaining to ASCs.

Click HERE for info pertaining to Ophthalmologists.