Posts

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.