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 the manufacturer’s 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 comes 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 opened. 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.