Defense Logistics Agency helps military medical facilities enhance patient care with high-tech operating rooms

PHILADELPHIA, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Defense Logistics Agency is helping military medical facilities enrich the quality of care provided to America's service members and their families.

State-of-the-art integrated operating rooms will enable medical providers to enhance patient safety and outcomes, and provide improved practitioner efficiency, said Andrew Wechter, the DLA Troop Support medical equipment division chief.

"The new contracts for integrated operating rooms will have a significant impact on enhancing patient care at Department Of Defense medical facilities," Wechter said. "These state-of-the-art operating rooms offer shorter, less invasive procedures that are performed with the best technology available."

Bob Zalewski, program manager and an integrated supply team chief in DLA Troop Support's medical capital equipment division, said doctors will continue to provide quality medical care to their patients as a result of the user-friendly, integrated technologies that will help the entire surgical team function better.

According to Zalewski, integrated operating rooms are relatively new technology in the commercial marketplace, with components including items such as surgical lights, cameras, surgical monitors, operating room integration systems, ceiling mounted equipment booms, anesthesia booms and digital capture systems. While most of these items are standard in any operating room, these new integrated operating rooms will enable each of these items to be operated with the push of a few buttons.

The system is based on modular design principles so it can be adapted to the needs of multiple surgeons and various procedures, Zalewski said. Contracts include turnkey installation and maintenance.

"The technology will allow the customers to integrate surgical planning and navigation, image data management, advanced visualization, and intra-operative imaging," he added.

Previously, DOD hospitals purchased the new technology locally, via open market procurements, Wechter said. Large, open market purchases are time-consuming and require significant effort to complete. With the new contracts in place, DLA Troop Support will issue delivery orders for customers, reducing the time and effort required for contracting. 

Additionally, due to the anticipated volume of business under these contracts, Wechter said there should be significant price savings for customers.

"Previously, we only purchased individual components of the system using federal supply schedules or open market purchases and were not able to contract for all of the required installation work," he said.  "Under our new contracts customers have one-stop shopping, in that we can purchase complete integrated OR systems, including turnkey installation, from a single vendor on a single contract." 

Zalewski said that although this technology is not primarily used in deployed medical treatment facilities, it will be installed in almost all hospitals both in and outside of the continental U.S. 

As a Department Of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America's military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 80 percent of the military's spare parts.

Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., DLA has about 27,000 employees worldwide and supports more than 2,178 weapon systems. For more information about DLA, go to www.dla.mil, www.facebook.com/dla.mil or http://twitter.com/dlamil.

Editor's note: To view high-resolution photos of the updated operating room, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlamil/7487090646/in/photostream or http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlamil/7487092116/in/photostream.

SOURCE Defense Logistics Agency



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