Quality or Quantity in Surgical Power Tools?

In this article, we will look for an answer to the question of whether quality or quantity is important in surgical power tools, which is an important cost item for hospitals and is one of the most important assistants of surgeons in orthopedics / traumatology surgeries.

Qualification: A characteristic that indicates how something is and distinguishes it from other things.

Quantity: The state of something that can be counted, measured, or increased or decreased.

With the prolongation of life expectancy, an aging society is formed and the expectations of the society are constantly increasing. These expectations increase the cost pressure on hospitals. Meeting the expectations of patients and working with developing technology is one of the most important problems of today’s hospitals.

Surgical instruments used in operating rooms constitute a large part of hospital expenses. But at the same time, 40% of hospital revenues come from surgeries. For this reason, it is very important that operating room equipment works efficiently. This efficiency can only be created with the right equipment selection and the right planning.

What is the Place of Surgical Motor Systems in Hospital Budget?

In countries with developing health systems such as Turkey, hospitals tend to avoid surgical power tools costs. For this reason, most hospitals require implant manufacturers to bring their own surgical power tools to their surgeries.  In such countries, hospitals keep 1 or 2 surgical power tools as spares in order not to risk the surgeries. For this reason, all the costs in this area have been pushed on the implant providers.

In countries where the health system is developing, implant providers have caused this cost to be the responsibility of the implant providers. Companies with high profit margins in the past provided such facilities to hospitals for the sake of competition and normalized this situation.

This burden has become unbearable for implant providers with the recent arrival of new quality regulations (high MDR costs https://easymedicaldevice.com/cost_eu_mdr/), the global economic crisis caused by unexpected pandemics / wars. For this reason, the demand of hospitals for surgical power tools has increased recently.

In regions such as Europe and America, where the health system is regular, hospitals generally have surgical power tools. Due to their high cost, obtaining maximum efficiency from these devices has become an important goal for hospitals.

What are the Advantages of a Quality Surgical Power Tools?

User Perspective of Surgical Power Tools

Surgeons are the main users of surgical power tools. The ergonomics of surgical power tools is very important for the health of the surgeon. Heavy, unbalanced and unsuitable surgical motor can cause wrist, neck and back pain in the surgeon. ( http://ryortho.com/2019/03/orthopedic-surgery-is-dangerousfor-the-surgeon/ )

Surgeons’ main goal is to perform many surgeries in a reasonable time frame. For this reason, they have to work efficiently and economically in order to treat more patients. Having a device that the surgeon can trust; rather than worrying about whether the system will malfunction or not, it will allow the patient to focus for more accurate alignment of the implant to be inserted. The main purpose of the surgical power tools is to facilitate the surgeon’s work as well as to perform the cutting, drilling and reaming functions that are needed at that moment.

One of the most important factors that will increase the performance of the surgeon is that he / she performs more successful surgeries, that is, receiving positive feedback from his / her patients.

Auxiliary User Perspective of Surgical Power Tools​

Auxiliary users are surgical technicians, surgical nurses, and personnel responsible for sterilization, cleaning and storage, who are involved in the preparation of the device.

Device usability is also very important to auxilary users. The surgical power tools, which has an easy-to-understand usage, prevents delays before or during the operation. Making the device ready in a short time by easily understanding the function that the surgeon wants to perform with the motor during the operation will relieve the auxilary users and make them feel confident.

A quality surgical power tools, with the feature of being washed in automatic machines, will enable the personnel responsible for cleaning the devices to come into contact with the device for less time. At the same time, the device will be less likely to be affected by unvalidated autoclaves (a big problem in hospitals) in the sterilization process.

Patient Perspective of Surgical Power Tools​

Patients are actually the most affected party from the process. They have no information about any device used in his surgery. They entrusts themself to the hospital for the duration of his narcosis.

Unfortunately, today, surgical power tools that do not have electrical safety tests and disregard user / patient life safety can easily enter operating rooms. At the same time, during the drilling process, oils and residues flow towards the patient from the internal motor of the systems that do not have adequate sealing. Or, the consumables that should be used once are used more than once, with the thought that they are cleaned, and they carry the prions of one patient to another.  ( http://acf.com.tr/pandemics-single-use-devices/ )

From the perspective of the patient, the most important thing to do is to provide training to all hospital staff about all risks that may occur.

Hospital Perspective of Surgical Power Tools​

All hospitals are under cost pressure today. However, the important thing here is to make the right planning and evaluate the efficiency of each device entering the hospital. Where there is no efficiency, the cost will increase.

Biomedical departments, which have become widespread in recent years, have gained an important position in hospitals. These departments, which have knowledge about medical devices, communicate more accurately with the manufacturer or supplier and help to get maximum efficiency from the devices.

Hospitals, which have a large number of operating rooms and a high number of daily cases, primarily prefer more affordable devices, since each orthopedic operation must have a separate surgical power tools. It is considered advantageous to stay away from quality devices with high investment costs. The important thing here is to calculate the cost per surgery. Surgical power tools will of course fail due to extreme working conditions. It is common for cheap priced products (usually from China, India) to deteriorate after 10-15 operations. Isn’t the time lost when trying to reach companies that do not stand behind the product, a cost?

Hospital purchasing processes are really challenging. Isn’t the time spent with issuing new specifications every time, getting offers from all companies again and evaluating them, not a cost?

After the hospital purchase, the costs do not end. The costs that the hospital cannot anticipate will disrupt the hospital’s budget plans and, for example, the 4 surgical power tools that suddenly break down will cause disruption of all surgeries and cause deeper costs. Because there is no strong bond between the manufacturer and the hospital, all cheap surgical power tools are like a ticking time bomb.

However, managing a quality surgical power tools is also a challenging process. There must be a very strong communication between the manufacturer and the hospital. The hospital should provide all feedback on the products it has to the manufacturer. The manufacturer should also analyze the working conditions of his product and inform the hospital about the correct maintenance times and potential repair costs. Only in this way can hospitals plan efficient working environments.

Before creating the technical specifications for the surgical power tools used in the field of orthopedics and traumatology in hospitals, we recommend that you read our article, the link of which is given below.

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