Sponsored by Avante HS
By Matt Cameron, CBET
All anesthesia machines perform essentially the same function in any operating room or procedure suite, but no system is one size fits all. Before choosing a new anesthesia system for your practice, make sure you have a firm understanding of the features and specifications that will best suit your unique needs, making it a worthwhile investment for your facility. To help you in your search, I recommend you answer these three guiding questions:
- Which anesthesia machine configuration works best in your facility?
- Does a refurbished machine make sense for your facility?
- Is this anesthesia system a good investment?
Which anesthesia machine configuration works best in your facility?
The easiest way to approach this question is by determining whether your facility needs an anesthesia ventilator. Ventilators are necessary for all procedures requiring general anesthesia where the patient requires deeper sedation. If your facility performs these kinds of procedures, you will need an integrated anesthesia system.
An integrated system is designed for a full operating room with a packed surgical schedule. Integrated units usually offer ventilation with volume and pressure control and other advanced modes. They typically have the capacity to fit two or three vaporizers and feature integrated monitoring, gas delivery management. Integrated systems are also compatible with electronic data systems.
If your facility doesn’t perform procedures that require a ventilator, then a tabletop or portable anesthesia system is a good option. Portable anesthesia machines are commonly used in monitored anesthesia care (MAC), where a clinician delivers local anesthesia together with sedation and analgesia.
Does a refurbished machine make sense for your facility?
Opting for a refurbished anesthesia system can certainly benefit your facility’s bottom line, but cost isn’t the only benefit. A refurbished unit can also save your facility staff valuable time and effort that would otherwise be spent training your staff on the latest technology of your factory new unit.
To be sure you’re choosing a reputable refurbishing company, make sure that they have the necessary experience, inventory, and refurbishment process to guarantee a quality product. The benefits of refurbished equipment need to be considered with the caveat that a reconditioned anesthesia system is only as good as the company who completes the refurbishing process.
Is this anesthesia system a good investment?
Ascertaining the true value of your new anesthesia machine involves assessing a few important factors. Consider the initial price of purchase along with the expected maintenance costs to make sure your facility is prepared to cover those expenses. Prepare contingencies for equipment problems that occur outside the realm of routine maintenance. Ask yourself, “what’s the most expensive thing that could go wrong?”
Determining the eventual “end of life” (EOL) for an anesthesia machine is important – especially when comparing refurbished systems. Despite the finite-sounding name, EOL simply refers to the time set by the original equipment manufacturer after which they will no longer provide support.
Anesthesia machines can function for years after their designated EOL with the help of qualified, third-party maintenance services. If your machine is nearing its EOL, be sure to find a trusted maintenance provider with access to quality new or used parts and experience in serving your specific brand of machine.
Choosing the right anesthesia system can be a daunting task, but it helps to consider your facility’s unique needs during the selection process. When in doubt, let Avante Health Solutions use our expertise to help you find the best system within your facility’s budget.
Matt Cameron is a Biomedical Support Specialist at the Avante Health Solutions Louisville Center of Excellence. For more information about new and refurbished anesthesia systems and support, please visit avantehs.com.