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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What is Your Vision?

Partnering with Surgical Direct Inc provides your OR with the industry’s best cataract outsourcing service available, and behind the scenes, our Practice Growth Team works on your behalf to learn what your vision is for your practice, and we help you with a map to get there successfully.  We replace the obstacles with a growth-centric infrastructure that rally’s OD referrals, along with installing and establishing a streamlined cataract program at a satellite facility in the territories you are wanting to expand in. Together we create a customized solution as to how to achieve the growth vision you have in mind, and with providing you and facilities with reliable cataract technology and our streamlined service is a process that has proven growth and expansion!

As a surgeon, when you connect with Surgical Direct, you are given access to our extensive OD referral network. This is especially valuable if you have the desire to begin Satellite Cataract surgery within drivable areas that are outside your normal area of practice.

Our extensive OD referral network opens up satellite location possibilities.

If you are interested in expanding your surgical practice into new territories, we have the connections you need for your vision to become reality.   

1) We do the legwork in connecting you to OD referrals.

Let us know where you would like to begin operating, and we will get you connected to referring OD’s in the surrounding area of interest. If we don’t already have connections in that area, we will find them for you. This has the potential to turn minimal monthly referrals into a larger number, making a potential surgery day in that area more substantial and profitable for your practice and the local facility that we help to place you in. This model of surgical care is very successful in rural areas because it reduces patient commutes outside their region. This makes for happy patients and referring physicians!

2) We handle all logistics and coordination with the local Hospital / ASC.

Generally, rural area hospitals will not have designated capital to invest in Ophthalmic equipment if the surgeon only has enough cases for a once-per-month surgery day. This is where we come in and shine! We will do all the legwork with the hospital to ensure that you (the surgeon) have everything that you need, no matter the location. Providing your desired equipment with your tailored settings, your customized supply list, organizing and coordinating instruments, and a consistent surgical coordinator makes stepping into a new facility for the first time as if it were in your own surgery center. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to step into a new facility!

3) Repeatable systems that work in multiple Satellite locations.

The benefit of this system is that we can reproduce the exact same process in as many satellite locations that you would like, ensuring consistent surgical outcomes. Once we’ve worked with you in one location, we know your process, procedure needs, likes, and dislikes making adding another satellite location an easier step. This gives you the opportunity to grow your practice and revenue without dealing with all the minute details involved in getting started in a new facility. Our goal is to act as your partner. Your success is our success, and your vision is our vision!

Whether you already work with us or have never heard of us before, we have finely-tuned logistical systems in place that make getting Cataracts started in a new facility easy!

For more details about our service offerings, visit our Mobile Cataract Services page and give us a call to begin discussions about your needs and goals.

We also offer a FREE Demo Day, so you can put your inhibitions aside about whether or not we are the real deal.

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).

2019 Cataract Surgery Trends

Happy Holidays from all of us at Surgical Direct!

It’s that time of year where we all begin to think about the year ahead and all that it holds. We’d like to take the opportunity to give you a shortlist of advancements and trends that we feel will be become more prevalent in 2019 in cataract surgery. Our job isn’t to sell products, but to be a resource of information and knowledge. We don’t have any agenda. This is just our opinion of what you’ll see more of in 2019 in cataract surgery.  Let’s jump right in!

Here’s our 2019 Cataract Surgery Trends short-list.

1) Premium IOLs

 

a) MultiFocal & Toric IOLS

Premium lenses are becoming more and more popular with surgeons and patients. We feel that there will be an increase in volume that these IOLs are implanted in 2019. Not only are these lenses being improved upon in quality and accuracy, but new science and technology is being added to them seemingly every year. And with the latest addition to the premium IOL industry with Toric/Multifocal (2in1) lenses, patient satisfaction and scoring higher and vision outcomes better as these developments are made. So, we feel in 2019 you’ll see more premium lenses added to your surgery days.

b) Adjustable IOLS

There is a new technology on the market as of early 2018 called the “adjustable IOL”. This is a lens that is implanted with a diopter size (similar to a normal IOL). The difference is that 2 weeks post-op, the surgeon can adjust the diopter of the IOL to attain 20/20 vision, non-surgically! The IOL uses a proprietary photo reactive silicone material. If the patient is not 20/20 at the post-op vision test, the IOL power can be changed by a 1-2 minute exposure of a low-intensity beam of ultraviolet light (delivered by a specialized machine) to change the shape of the lens according to the patient’s prescription. FDA studies show that twice the number of patients are able to ditch glasses and have 20/20 vision after cataract surgery using this technology. Read more about the lens here.

The lens hasn’t caught on yet in large volumes, primarily due to lack of exposure. Any new technology naturally takes time to gain momentum. But our opinion is that we may see and hear more about this lens in 2019. In fact, many believe that it’s only a matter of time before the Adjustable IOL becomes one of the most disruptive and innovative technologies to hit cataract and refractive surgery in recent years.

2) Disposable Instruments

 

In many ways, the name of the game in cataract surgery is efficiency. Of course, patients and their health always come first! But it’s always been a drive in the refractive and cataract surgery market to make things more efficient. With more and more regulations being enforced on sterilization standards over the last years, there has been a big push and increase in disposable instruments. Many of the major players (such as Alcon and B+L) have already started with disposable IA handles, phaco sleeves, tubing, cannulas, etc. But we feel this trend is going to go deeper in this direction in 2019, possibly even into secondary instruments such as forceps and hooks regularly used per case. Companies like MST and BVI are already mass-marketing these disposable instruments. Will reusable instruments go away in 2019? Not at all likely. But we feel we will begin to see more incorporation of disposable instrumentation.

3) Phaco & Microscope Developments

The biggest news in the phaco market is the recent release of the B&L Stellaris Elite, with its Adaptive Fluidics TM and Attune® Energy. The Stellaris Elite also offers compatibility for both posterior and anterior segment procedures, which causes it to stand alone as a viable option for cataracts & retina. Alcon’s Centurion phaco platform is a still a viable player in the phaco market. There have been inklings of new updates to this machine (or a new Alcon machine on the horizon), but nothing official has been announced beyond speculation. Abbott (what used to be AMO – creator of the WhiteStar Phaco system) was acquired last year by Johnson & Johnson. With new financial backing, maybe there will be an announcement of development there? Per usual, during the annual AAO conference is typically when announcements will be made on new technology that is being developed or released. We’ll be sure the publish another article after the AAO on what is in the pipeline in this area.

And of course, every year now we get further and further into the era of baby boomers coming into cataract surgery range. This means that in the next years, we are going to see a huge influx of cataract needs in the US. We believe it’s so important to have a trusted partner in cataract surgery. That is our goal at Surgical Direct.

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.

The Growing Need for Cataract Instruments

The Situation with Sterilization.

Surgical procedures, in general, require a lot of instrumentation to be sterilized in preparation for surgery. Like all specialties in surgery, Ophthalmology requires very specific instrumentation. When we are talking about ‘cataract instruments’, we are talking about the ophthalmic instruments (cataract tray), the phaco handpiece, and IOL insertion devices.

One notable difference that makes cataract instruments different is their size and fragility. But this is just one “small” part (no pun intended) of the cataract instrument situation that needs to be thought about to make the surgery day a success. What about volume? How many sets do you need to make the day a success? The truth is (with changes to sterilization standards in the last 15 years), it seems that the required amount of instrumentation for a typical eye day is growing and growing. Let’s dissect the reasons why this is such a big issue, and how Surgical Direct can help in this area.

So, why do you need so many Cataract Instruments? 

 

1) Case Volume & Speed

In 2015, Review of Ophthalmology published an article that says that the national average of cataract case volume per surgeon in the United States is about 400 cataract cases per year. Some obviously would land higher than that, some lower of course. But if we take that average, it equals approx 7 cases per week.

Let’s just say your surgeon brings an average of 7 cases to your facility on a surgery day, with an average case time of 20min. That’s an average of 3 cases per hour. If your surgeon falls into the “quick” category, this number can go up. Keep in mind that it’s best practice to have a backup set sterile and ready in case an instrument is dropped or contaminated. So that gives us a total of 4 sets of cataract instruments needed per hour of surgery. And saying that actually feels modest.

2) Modern Sterilization Times

Next, we have to factor in how long it takes to sterilize cataract instruments. Using the most up-to-date sterilization standards, a facility needs 45min-1hr of process time for instruments to be sterilized (which has increased substantially in the last 15 years with stricter state and medical governing body regulations). What used to take 15min, now will take 1hr, which means that the first set of cataract instruments used that day will not be ready to be used again until 1.5hr after the first case starts. It’s also interesting to note that average case times per surgeon are getting faster due to the latest technology, which is increasing the surgeon’s efficiency and helping them get through cases faster. This makes for an interesting dilemma.

3) Standard & Specialty Instruments 

Every surgeon has their preferred instruments. Cataract surgery does not have too many varying methods. For the most part, every surgeon will perform the surgery using the same primary steps. However, this does not mean that every surgeon will use the same instruments. Many surgeons will use different instrumentation than another surgeon to perform the same surgical step. This means that if you have more than one surgeon operating in your facility, your instrumentation will need to increase. Of course, some surgeons will have added steps based on their surgical preference, also increasing needed instrumentation.

Then there is the issue of backup or specialty instruments that are only needed in special situations. It’s important to have multiples of these in order to cover all possible scenarios and not be stuck waiting for sterilization to move forward with the day.

4) The Impending Baby-Boomers 

Another layer to think about in this area is that we are on the cusp of the baby-boomer generation becoming within the average age of cataract development. Why does this matter? The numbers listed above in point #1 are numbers taken in 2015. Each year, the average cataract surgeon will take on more cases just to handle the demand, and it’s only going to increase as the baby boomers develop cataracts and need surgery. This means that the need for more instrumentation will only be inevitable in the coming years.

To sum up, it’s a very complex situation that requires a lot of instruments and attention to detail to pull off a smooth cataract day. By now you are probably trying to factor how much it’s going to cost in purchasing instruments and phaco handpieces to keep up with the demand. Maybe you are already here in your facility. Before you invest, consider Surgical Direct’s Mobile Cataract Services.

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. We are able to help with instrumentation demands (both in cataract instruments, and phaco handpieces). 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.

Want to experience our services first hand for FREE? Request a Surgical Direct FREE DEMO DAY.

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.