Q. Dr. Mehta, what impact do you anticipate the introduction of OrthoView digital planning and templating software will have on your department?
A. An orthopaedic procedure starts before you walk into the operating room. There are many good reasons for pre-planning procedures, not least in order to keep OR time to a minimum for the patient, ensure the team knows which pieces of equipment to prepare and sterilize and to optimize the efficiency of the whole enterprise.
Before the digital age, we planned orthopaedic operations using acetate templates and paper overlaid onto the X-ray film, and that was effective but time-consuming. However, we are digital image users now and need digital solutions. Many institutions have stopped printing film altogether because of its cost and the disposal issues. For my team and I, OrthoView represents a return to pre-operative planning but with improved efficiency, which benefits the patient, the hospital, and ourselves.
Q. Why is improved workflow important in orthopaedics?
A. A lot of time can be wasted in the operating room selecting prostheses or trauma plate and screw sizes from a wide selection of equipment that has to be prepped and sterilized, just in case it is needed. It can take several minutes to select appropriate equipment and sizes needed, and that time could be better spent. Several minutes per procedure can really add up over the course of a working week, allowing additional operating time to be freed up and more procedures to be done. We all benefit from the increased efficiency and resulting cost savings.
Q. Dr. Mehta, can you give an example of how OrthoView’s digital templating solution will improve your department’s workflow?
A. It will definitely improve our efficiency as a division in terms of patient care, as well as saving time and money. To give you an example: I operated on a patient yesterday, a 30-year-old female with a very distal tibia fracture. My residents looked at the X-ray the day before the operation was scheduled and decided that an intramedullary nail was the best option for repairing the fracture. When I saw the X-ray myself later, my experience suggested that the procedure required a plate and screw construct. As we didn’t have the precise device the patient needed available in the hospital, we had to get the orthopaedic consultant to deliver the device, which delayed the procedure starting. When we eventually got to the OR, I still had to make decisions about plate and screw sizes so even more time was lost.
If we had been able to pre-plan the procedure using OrthoView’s precise measuring tools and wizards, this situation wouldn’t have arisen. The residents would have been able to measure the template against the fracture and would have known to choose the screw and plate option to start with. I would have been able to select screw size and position before entering the operating room and pass that information onto the team so they could have an appropriate selection ready.
All in all there would have been less stress and waiting time for the patient and less wasted time for the team.
Q. Are there any other benefits of using OrthoView for planning elective or trauma procedures?
A. The wizards are a great added benefit. Apparently there are over 30 tools and wizards relating to different procedures in OrthoView. They make sizing and measuring very quick and easy to do, which is especially useful in a teaching hospital. OrthoView is actually a wonderful teaching aid as well, allowing my residents to prepare and print pre-operative plans that we can review days before surgery.