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20.11.2014

Tyscor Pulse - All on-board systems ready for take-off

They are everywhere. At home, at work, on the road. Networked devices are omnipresent. Thanks to PCs, Internet and smartphones, there is practically no area of life left that makes do ‘without’. WLAN, Bluetooth and Facebook are always in there.

It’s so simple - and comfortable to boot. Let’s take a look to see if I can quickly book a bargain flight to the Mediterranean, or check for a good Italian restaurant nearby where one can sit outside ... We have quickly become used to this type of information search. Ditto for sending documents from a PC. No doubt this is progress that we don’t want to pass us by. Where it might go is indicated by the example of the ever-expanding, and by now vast, flood of applications for smartphones. Even if some apps beg the question of what they’re really for.

At dental surgeries, on the contrary, their use is plain to see. The network is used every day - patient administration, documentation, invoicing, emails to labs and colleagues are routine tasks. Usually the technology needed for treatment is directly bundled in, such as X-ray systems and intraoral cameras and scanners.

But that far from exhausts all possibilities. Control processes with which surgery technology is almost seamlessly managed, including the dental supply system, show where development is heading here. Ideally it is directly at the work monitor, on which everything can be seen at a glance and is under control, like in an aircraft cockpit.

In the network and under control: compressed air and suction unit

Among the most important technical equipment in any surgery is the compressor. It delivers the indispensable compressed air for a series of processes – from the drive for the turbine in the hand piece and control of precision milling to blow drying the treatment area in patients’ mouths. Dental compressed air must be readily available at all times. It is, of course, obvious that a breakdown, even if just temporary, would quickly paralyse the entire surgery. Compressed air is such a part of the scenery that the compressor running inconspicuously in the background is hardly noticed.

A slew of benefits result when this “heart of the surgery” is also bundled into the digital network: malfunctions and maintenance messages, e.g. for a filter change, are immediately displayed and can be seen at a glance on the monitor. They can then be promptly resolved. Greater defects, which might have brought the whole system down, are warded off from the start. High quality, robust systems may often run failure-free for a long time, yet it is beyond comforting to have the status of a system displayed black and white at any time and knowing it’s all there at a glance. This is also true for the second central technical system, the suction unit. It is in almost constant use and can spread » pathogens if not properly disinfected. Saliva, blood, tissue remnants and filling materials are in principle covered with potentially dangerous germs and must be transported away. A contaminated cannula, a hose or a coupling are possible recesses for viruses, bacteria and fungi. Due to the increased number of jet-spray devices there is additional stress. Hard particles can accumulate as sludge in the suction unit or the amalgam separator, or combine with other materials to form aggregates that are difficult to dissolve.

If the suction unit is not working, practically nothing else will work a surgery. In order to ensure smooth operation at all times, it must be regularly and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This means that key activities and installation requirements must be taken into account. Any malfunctions are then easily prevented by systematic and consistent maintenance. That may at first sound a bit banal, but it should not be underestimated. Since the suction unit runs just as discreetly in the background as the compressor, it is hardly noticed in the day to day. That only happens when there is a malfunction. In the worst case the system completely breaks down, bringing the entire business to a standstill.

Better a safety net with double bottom! Because if the suction unit is connected to the network, then its updated status is always available at a glance. A lot of work can be saved with intelligent software (» Tyscor Pulse) tailored to individual systems: scheduled maintenance is monitored from work stations rather than having to check every device. Another helpful warning signal looks like this: “Amalgam container 95 % full”. This clearly indicates that it needs to be replaced soon.

Should something unexpectedly malfunction, it will promptly and unequivocally be indicated on the monitor. Good software shows whether the team itself can provide a remedy or whether outside service is called for. The programme then simply sends a status report by email to the service technician. It really doesn’t get any faster or easier! Should a rare damage event occur in spite of all this, rest assured there will be no long downtimes.

The Navi for surgeries

The ability to look into the entire technology at any time makes for a high degree of security. A glance at the monitor, everything under control – that’s what surgery management looks like today! Nevertheless, it’s no secret that where there are people, there are also mistakes. Errors can never be 100 % ruled out. But the more transparent work processes and technical systems are, the less likely it is that something will slip by unnoticed. “Four eyes see more than two eyes, and six eyes still more”. Heeding this axiom keeps the risk as low as possible.

And all with the comfort of a ‘surgery’! At establishments that are not networked, aggregates must be regularly sight checked, meticulously documented by hand, and plans must constantly be checked so that nothing important is forgotten. That may actually work quite well, but is doubtlessly much more susceptible to errors. Even with stringent discipline and painstaking exactitude, the human factor cannot be fully eliminated and thus “harmless” errors do indeed occur. Throw in just a tiny bit of inattentiveness during the check and the disaster will run its course!

Crystal-clear oversight at all times and largely automatic maintenance and fault reports already provide a very high degree of security. And its performance can be improved yet more. When fundamental technical systems such as compressed air and suction always run in their optimum power range it contributes to operational reliability and provides for continuous smooth functioning. Along the way it saves electricity and extends the life of aggregates because they are not unnecessarily contaminated.
Thus a surgery networked all round provides the best prerequisites for smooth working. That means less stress and optimum security for staff and for technical systems.

Published by: rf/tk 04/14
Tyscor Pulse - All on-board systems ready for take-off

Tyscor Pulse - All on-board systems ready for take-off

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