Archive July 2017 XVIII, No. 7

Time to Buy a New Table?

Features that matter most when buying your next OR bed.

Dan O'Connor, Editor-in-Chief

Harriet Willoughby, BSN, administrator and CEO SLIDE TO THE LEFT Harriet Willoughby, BSN, administrator and CEO of Gadsden (Ala.) Surgery Center, likes the slide feature on her table.

You know it's time to buy a new table when yours break during a case. During a tubal ligation, there was a loud snap and bam, the bed dropped a couple inches, severing the electrical cord on a sequential compression device. The OR team transferred the unharmed patient to another bed.

A few weeks earlier, staff at the Coffeyville (Kan.) Regional Medical Center reported to the biomed department that the bed was groaning and sticking when they elevated it. When someone checked it out, it was working just fine. "Like when your car doesn't start and then you go to the mechanic to get it checked out, it starts," says Teresa Barker, RN, BSN, MBA, director of surgical services at Coffeyville.

Ms. Barker only wishes staff had alerted her about the balky bed because her 5-OR surgical department was down a bed for 2 weeks until the refurbished replacement arrived. Of the 7-year-old bed that was literally on its last leg, Ms. Barker says: "It didn't owe me a dime."

Buying an OR bed ranks as one of your most important purchasing decisions, one you can't afford to get wrong, because you're going to live with your costly mistake for years to come. "When you purchase a table, you want to make the right decision to last a long time," says Tracy Fuchs, RN, CNOR, director of surgical services at Aspirus Medford (Wis.) Hospital and Clinics. "When I look at a table, it should grow with technology as it advances."

Via an online poll, we asked 22 surgical facility leaders who'd purchased a new or refurbished OR bed in the last 2 years which features matter most to them. Most important features, in order, are: price, versatility (can use for many types of procedures), ease of use with C-arm, padding, degree of articulation, ability to rise high and go low, weight capacity, compatibility with existing accessories, and reputation for durability and reliability.

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