Karl Storz Site Visit

Recently I, along with fellow analyst Casie Leiby, took a trip to El Segundo, California to visit the Karl Storz Endoscopy headquarters with the intent of discussing Endoscopy Video and Integrated OR products.

Mrs. Leiby and I were met by Charlie Wilhelm, President and COO, who stressed that Karl Storz’s focus is to meet customer’s needs and provide satisfaction.  To deliver on this promise, Mr. Wilhelm said their goal is to provide enabling technology that will help providers improve outcomes while reducing costs.

As with any vendor, the combination of outcomes and cost reduction is an interesting topic.  In recent years we have seen value analysis teams involved in the budget process scrutinizing more than the cost of the box.  The longevity of a technology and its ability to provide for savings in areas such as reduction of length-of-stay and “Never Events” play a key factor, especially when a service line approach is taken into consideration.

To address this, Karl Storz stresses that the longevity of their technology is one of their approaches to reducing costs. This focus is why they are committed to backward and forward compatibility, which is made possible because they still manufacture all of their camera and electronic technology, giving them better control over their supplies and technology.

This theory has been supported by the fact that instead of releasing major product line changes every couple of years, the company prefers to deliver next generation technology that is automatic and can be compatible with existing devices by software upgrades. The end is a lower cost of ownership over a longer term.

When it comes to outcomes, safety concerns, and “Never Events”, Karl Storz has taken an IT approach with its OR1 NEO and View 1 products.  Both systems are highly customizable which allows them to address a wide variety of provider’s needs.  It is a similar concept in an expanding market.  What I have found interesting with the OR1 NEO integration package is its ability to preset physican camera head control preferences and the device faceplate that appears on the screen when using the remote control feature.   Considering the multiple users of each system, both are key concepts in simplifying room turnover and training issues.

The View 1 is the company’s solution for bringing more information and automated documentation in the form of PACS and EMR into the OR.  It is driven by the need to reduce “Never Events,” and to assist the surgeon if the diagnosis and therapy changes once the patient is on the table. The company’s emphasis is to allow for the View 1 to be an open platform, which is becoming a common approach among the multiple PACS and EMR vendors in the market.

To learn more about what Mrs. Leiby and I learned about these new products, Karl Storz’s corporate vision, and what this means for you, please feel free to contact either of us through member.services@www.mdbuyline.com.

James Laskaris, EE, BME
James Laskaris, EE, BME, Clinical Analyst — Mr. James Laskaris is a senior emerging technology analyst at MD Buyline and has been with the company since 1994. With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field, Mr. Laskaris is the primary analyst of high-end OR technology. He also covers issues related to the legislative and reimbursement effect on healthcare and authors a bimonthly “Issues that Matter” publication. Mr. Laskaris received his biomedical engineering degree from Southern Illinois University. His work has been published in hfm Magazine, Radiology Manager and Healthcare Purchasing News.