What are the top three considerations surgical professionals should make when purchasing surgical cameras & video systems?

April 21, 2010

With continual improvements in minimally invasive surgery techniques coupled with constrained capital budgets, facilities must add more rigor to their technology assessments and purchasing practices. If done effectively, they can help position themselves for long-term growth.

Purchase decisions should be made based upon the technological needs of the department. The capital equipment should be a high performance system that has superior image quality, is intuitive to use and allows standardization among departments.

It is important to ensure a fully integrated HD system throughout the entire imaging chain for a true HD image. The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) defines the video standards for High Definition. Understanding the standards for HD is critical as some vendors have products that are marketed as HD but do not adhere to the standard. This will lead to increased future costs to replace peripherals.

Consider whether the system is upgradeable and forward compatible. Forward compatibility is the ability of the system to accept input for planned later versions of itself. This will allow your facility to seamlessly expand system capabilities over time while not incurring high replacement costs.

Identify features that can save money and time. Steam sterilization is the safest and most economical method of sterilization and, according to AORN, saturated steam under pressure is the preferred method of sterilization. Autoclavability of endoscopes and cameras will save money per case because steam sterilization cycles are shorter than other methods. This will not only allow for a higher number of surgeries at a lower cost, but also allow your facility the opportunity to reinvest its savings – perhaps to upgrade technology.