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).

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

Up until now, there has not been much marketed about upcoming or new developments in the Phaco and Microscope markets. There is always speculation, but nothing has been announced. Alcon’s Centurion is still dominating the phaco market, and we suspect that turnover to this machine will continue in 2019. 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.

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.