Archive May 2017 XVIII, No. 5

Is It Time for an Imaging Upgrade?

Amazing advances in surgical visualization deliver spectacular views, but which options are best for you?

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Executive Editor


cost-effective technology IMAGE IS EVERYTHING Invest in cutting-edge, cost-effective technology that attracts surgeons and patients.

Surgical video technology evolves seemingly every time surgeons look up from the sterile field. High-definition monitors are passé as more 4K 3D ultra high-def screens are being hung in ORs. The monitors themselves are getting smarter and being stretched beyond 55 inches.

Surgeons want to click, capture and send high-definition images to the cloud for later viewing at home or in the office. Keeping up with the latest in surgical imaging can make your eyes glaze over, but then you'd miss out on some pretty spectacular views of surgery.

Kenneth Keller, CST, a cost and value consultant at Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, Mich., sits on a committee that sets up new product trials and gathers the information that's needed to make informed purchasing decisions. It's fair to say he's directly involved in okaying every supply and piece of equipment that makes its way into one of the health system's 18 ORs. Mr. Keller's biggest task is likely the same one you face when it's time to upgrade the imaging in your facility.

"The challenge is to stay on the cutting edge of care and to give surgeons the technology they need — while remaining fiscally responsible," he says.

The wow factor
Mr. Keller had a hand in adding 4K monitors to Lakeland Health's orthopedic ORs last year. Next year, the health-system's general surgery suites are in line for an upgrade, and Mr. Keller is currently coordinating trials of several imaging options. Orthopedic surgeons at Lakeland Health went with a platform that provided the best views through irrigation fluid that's pumped into the surgical field during joint cases. The general surgeons, meanwhile, are expressing interest in image-enhancement technology, which lets them see through smoke and gas in the abdominal cavity. That's why you can't assume a single imaging solution is suitable for multiple specialties, and why giving all of your surgeons enough time to trial different platforms is essential, says Mr. Keller.

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