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Purchasing For The Future

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 6:55am
Response by Kyle Rudolph, Sr. Product Manager, Booms, Skytron

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Surgical Products asks manufacturers of equipment booms: What should surgical professionals consider of when purchasing equipment booms to ensure their OR is adaptable for future upgrades and updates?

May 17, 2010

Booms play an important role in delivering many critical services to the Operating Room and more importantly supporting the surgical team. From high definition video images to PACS, C-arm fluoroscopy, physiological vital signs, EMR and more, booms provide the conduit and ability to mount flat panel displays around the surgical field. 

Booms play an important role in delivering many critical services to the Operating Room and more importantly supporting the surgical team.  From high definition video images to PACS, C-arm fluoroscopy, physiological vital signs, EMR and more, booms provide the conduit and ability to mount flat panel displays around the surgical field.   Likewise, medical gases such as vacuum, carbon dioxide for insufflators and lasers, anesthesia gases, nitrogen gas to power tools such as orthopedics, neurosurgical and cardiovascular procedures, communication lines  and power outlets are all necessary to support and care for the surgical patient.  
These critical services are all dependent upon boom delivery systems to optimize flexible accessibility, while keeping the clutter of cables, cords, equipment and services off the floor.

Booms are delivered in various sizes and shapes.  The larger the boom, the greater the clinical space required to utilize and maneuver the boom.  Likewise for booms, ceiling mount location is critical to optimizing use and flexibility.  Booms mounted against the wall or on one side of the room limit flexibility.  Floorplans that include booms should be well thought out ahead of time to avoid extra costs that otherwise create multiple boom and services redundancy, extra clutter and cost.

Booms that can be mounted with Surgical or Emergency Lighting provide even greater flexibility options around the entire patient treatment area and can better reach key target support areas while avoiding redundancy costs.  More importantly, greater positioning flexibility in OR floorplan design can reduce the number of booms required to adequately meet clinical needs, optimize efficiency and take up less room to work—delivering a more open and flexible floor plan.  

Likewise, booms should be able to support HD flat panel displays and lightweight arm sets that are specifically designed to hold these displays and deliver proper cabling that is able to be stored vs. external and allow for future swap out expansion as technologies evolved and/or clinical needs change.  This is also true of lighting systems. Today’s surgical lights should be able to easily accommodate optional flat panel arm sets to provide more options for video displays in today’s integrated Operating Room.
 
Not only does the boom arm need to be able to handle the cables and hoses of the different technologies today, but also leave you enough room for what we don’t know will come tomorrow.  This holds especially true for your flat panel arm systems, as many of these arms are of a much smaller diameter and with some video companies recommending that redundant cabling be installed up front, you could really be limited on space in the future for any additional cables.

Other considerations of booms are the importance of internal arm and bearing capacity to support today’s OR communications and integration technologies…in addition to medical gas and electrical services.  Likewise, smoke evacuation within the OR can be flexibly and more efficiently provided off the floor via boom delivery in supporting the surgical team.

Another thing to ensure future upgradability is the available additional outlets on the boom.  Design capacity should provide for capability of handling customer’s capacity list from the very beginning with additional, unused ones also available for the future, covered with blank plates.  When the need arises for an additional outlet, the blank can simply be removed and the outlet added on-site.

Having an arm system that offers modularity plays an important role for future technologies as well, with the ability to alter or upgrade to future equipment carriers, flat panel display mounts, lighting and much more can help keep costs low when moving or upgrading to newer technologies.

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