Nuclear gamma technology has changed dramatically over the last decade, and innovations that once sounded impossible are now in active use across the country.
One such technology is portable nuclear gamma imaging. Unlike the heavy, large, and unreliable portable cameras of the past, new imagers are highly mobile and are changing how and where imaging takes place.
The operating room is a vital area of the hospital that is benefiting from new portable nuclear imaging technology. In this post, we explore how mobile imaging with the Digirad Ergo works in the OR. Let’s take a look…
Reduced patient transportation
During some surgical procedures, it is necessary to take images partway through to check placement or to ensure that a procedure was done successfully. In a traditional setting, this involves transporting the patient, all of the associated surgical equipment, and the team operating it from the OR to the imaging suite.
The problem with patient transportation is that it’s associated with several significant risks to the patient, to the hospital staff and to the hospital itself. For example, there is the possibility of an accident that causes injury to staff or the patient. There’s the potential for equipment to get damaged during transport and for patients to be exposed to infection.
Any of these issues can impact patient outcomes, cause injury or even death. In the current reimbursement environment, hospitals are held liable for incidents that occur during patient transport, so avoiding transport where possible is better for both the patient and the hospital.
The Ergo camera is highly portable, meaning it can be wheeled into the OR rather than patients having to be taken to it. The removal of transportation risk is often enough to clinch the decision to purchase Ergo, but there are other benefits too…
Reduced time under anesthesia
Extended time under anesthesia can lead to complications during or after surgery. It is generally accepted that reducing time under anesthesia as much as possible is the best approach for patients.
When patients need transporting to imaging equipment during surgery, it increases their time under anesthesia, as well as the total time taken for the surgery. Patients may be susceptible to complications.
A portable nuclear gamma camera such as Ergo can be used in the OR to give the surgeon real-time results. This means no transportation to radiology, quicker confirmation of whether a procedure worked or not and overall, less time needed under anesthesia.
More efficient use of time and resources
Besides the risk of transportation and the need to have patients anesthetized for longer, transporting patients to radiology from the OR creates inefficiencies.
When a patient needs transporting to imaging, it means that valuable staff members are tied up with the transportation. Teams are with the patient from one location to another to monitor them. The OR remains booked for the patient and radiology is booked for them too. This often means that the space in radiology has to be kept open for an undetermined amount of time.
This is naturally less-efficient than imaging directly in the OR. Using the Ergo portable nuclear gamma camera means that radiology doesn’t have to be booked and can be used for other patients. It means that surgeons get the information they need sooner and may result in better throughput for the OR.
Does not require a large space
One concern that physicians tend to ask about is the amount of space that the Ergo camera will take up in the OR. Naturally, space is usually at a premium and anything large simply won’t be practical in those circumstances.
Fortunately, the minimum room space required for the Ergo is 8’ x 8’. The Ergo is a flexible, multi-purpose nuclear imaging camera. Because of its size and portability, the Ergo can be brought to the patient’s room and to various departments including the ICU, pediatrics, women’s health, or surgery. Investment in an Ergo stands to benefit more than just the OR.
Applications of Ergo in the OR
The Ergo is capable of providing the following imaging in the OR:
- Sentinel Node
- GI Bleed
- Infection Imaging
- Bone Scans
- Lung Perfusion
- Liver Study
- Hepatobiliary (HIDA Gallbladder)
- Gastric Emptying
- Brain Perfusion
- Molecular Breast Imaging
- 3 Phase Bone
Using a portable camera such as the Ergo in the OR can be a game-changer for both patients and surgeons.
Benefits include eliminating transport risk between the OR and radiology, providing real-time information and confirmation for surgeons and reducing the amount of time the patient spends under anesthetic.
Ergo provides a versatile option for any hospital. From the OR, it may be moved easily for point-of-care imaging in a patient’s room. Click here to find out more about this one-of-a-kind portable nuclear gamma camera.