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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.