Increased OR demands underscore need for hospital efficiencies and latest surgical technology – here’s why

While businesses, communities, schools and other institutions are busy adjusting to the “new normal,” hospitals, still grappling with the effects of COVID-19, are facing some complex challenges. However, unlike other businesses that have the flexibility to adjust their hours or the services they offer as they work to gain their footing, hospitals are faced with a different situation. They exist to serve the patients who need them. And so, their doors remain open, regardless of the obstacles they are working to overcome.

The challenges hospitals and healthcare facilities are facing these days are numerous; staffing and supply shortages are top of mind, but even more urgent are the pressing needs of patients. High volume from those catching up on postponed care is putting greater strains on already-strained healthcare staff and as the population ages, many are managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, which can make care more complex. For surgeons in particular, difficult-to-access anatomy and compromised tissue – like fibrotic, irradiated, poorly perfused, inflamed tissue with reduced elasticity, strength and healing capabilities – adds to the difficulties of their work in the operating room (OR), particularly when it comes to bariatric, colorectal and thoracic surgeries.

To address these challenges, while continuing to prioritize patient outcomes, a critical key to success is identifying strategies to reduce surgical complications and increase OR efficiencies. This starts by recognizing the scope of the problem.  These issues account for a heavy burden on the health care system – from extended lengths of stay to staggering costs for hospitals and patients alike. Part of the solution then becomes identifying the right surgical technologies that can help surgeons manage complications and maximize efficiencies.

In collaborating with hospitals, surgeons, and surgical staff to capture the learnings gained from performing countless procedures and applying it to our technologies, MedTech companies can help enable more informed decision making on behalf of patients pre- and post-operatively. Because of a rising demand, and therefore increased need for bariatric, colorectal, and thoracic surgeries, prioritizing the use of advanced technologies for these procedures is critical.

With this in mind, the team at Ethicon, part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech, recently introduced a new device, the ECHELON 3000 stapler. This device was specifically designed to equip surgeons in the aforementioned specialties with a surgical stapler that helps address their needs. Core to the development process of this stapler was the fundamental understanding that surgeons need better access and control in tight spaces, like the thoracic cavity and pelvis, and on thick tissue – all areas where surgeons must navigate with precision. These technical enhancements can allow for a more seamless and efficient surgical experience.

Defining a clear strategy for driving hospital efficiencies will be essential to elevating standards of care and creating a healthier future for the patients of today and tomorrow. Working in partnership with a MedTech company that understands these needs can help the OR team to function efficiently; preserving capacity and resources for those moments during a procedure when they are needed most.

To learn more about Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson MedTech company, and our efforts to develop clinically-differentiated surgical technologies and solutions to help address some of the most pressing health challenges of our time, visit

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