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3 Ways To Prepare for The Baby Boomer Cataract Influx

The Baby Boomer generation is currently within range for cataracts, which right now is estimated to be 76 million people in the US between the ages of 55-75. According to studies, the average age of cataract surgery patients today is 60.  This means that we are nearing (if not already in) history’s busiest years in Ophthalmology.

On top of these stats, articles published by Mayo Clinic News Network, Today.com, and Review of Ophthalmology all write of Boomers trending to opt-in for cataract surgery at earlier ages than previous generations. It is no wonder, as increases in IOL technology, phaco technology, and newly approved procedural options are producing better refractive outcomes. Cataract surgery is now more convenient, has better outcomes, and is less strenuous on patients than ever.

Big improvements in vision + minimally invasive procedure + 98% success rate = Baby Boomer Cataract Influx! Why not?

3 Ways To Prepare For The Baby Boomer Cataract Influx

1 ) Streamline Your Operational Structure – Maximize your Efficiency

The influx of Baby Boomer cataract surgery means that Ophthalmologists will be in high demand, and cataract surgery will be at all-time-high numbers. This means that it’s really important to prepare your facility, staff, and operational structure for an increase in patients. More surgeries mean longer days, so streamlining your operational structure will be essential to ensure that your facility is ready to perform more surgeries in as little time as safely possible.

How do you do this? Organizing an “Eye Team” is one of the best ways to increase efficiency. The eye team is made up of circulating nurses, scrubs, and support staff that are trained and know what to do in their specific roles. From room turnover, sterilization processing, and intra-op steps and norms, having a trained, experienced, and designated team is one of the best ways to increase speed while remaining safe.

2) Acquire the Latest Technology – Increase Safety + Efficiency

New Phaco and Microscope technology improve the surgical efficiency of the surgeon while increasing safety for the patients. The surgeon is able to cut, asperate, and remove the cataract faster and safer (in a more controlled intraocular environment)  with new Phaco technology than with old technology. New microscope technology increases the surgeon’s view dramatically, giving them more control over the surgery while increasing safety for the patient. Both of these areas can help reduce the intra-op time of each case, and increase the day’s efficiency while retaining (or even increasing) safety standards.

3) Optimize Your Inventory Management Systems – Reduce the Back-End Hours

More cases mean more supplies. More supplies mean more purchase orders to process, organize, stock, pull and reorder after surgery. For anyone who has handled eye surgery inventory, you already know how much work is entailed in this department. With an influx of cases, this means an increase in back-end hours. It’s important to optimize your inventory systems to make sure you fine-tune your operations to eliminate lag as much as possible.

These above 3 tasks to streamline your cataract systems are easier said than done. But we have good news!

Surgical Direct fits the bill in each of these areas.

1) Surgical Direct helps streamline your operational structure.

At Surgical Direct, we acclimate to your environment and become part of the team. Our experienced surgical coordinators not only deliver the equipment and supplies but offer technical assistance and support on every cataract case in your OR. This raises the overall ‘procedure knowledge’ in the room, and can increase the day’s efficiency.

2) Surgical Direct provides the latest cataract technology at no upfront cost.

Cataract Technology is expensive. In fact, MarketWatch.com predicts that the Cataract Surgery Device Market will surpass $8.5B by 2024.  This particular area can be the most challenging area for surgical facilities because of the capital. Surgical Direct’s Mobile Cataract Service provides the latest technology in Phaco, Ophthalmic Microscope and IOL to your OR with no capital expenditure.

3) Surgical Direct provides massive inventory support, eliminating your inventory for the majority of eye case supplies on-site.

Along with our technology provisions, we provide wide/customizable selections in eye case inventory for your cases (except drugs). This eliminates the need for your facility to carry these items and maintain inventory, freeing you and your staff for more important work.

Surgical Direct is here to help streamline your cataract operations to achieve the most efficient, safe, and cost-effective solution possible. Partner with Surgical Direct today and together we can provide the best in cataract care to your patients and community.

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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.