The SurgiCount Tablet is a new
touch-screen interface for the revolutionary SurgiCount Safety-Sponge
System, which supports the fight
against retained surgical sponges
and promotes patient safety. The
SurgiCount Safety-Sponge System
utilizes uniquely identified sponges
and towels to provide a precise,
real-time count so the surgical
team can close a procedure — and
a patient — with confidence. The
hospital’s SurgiCount 360 software
maintains a record of the Surgi-Count-verified correct count so
that surgeons, nurses, and hospital
administrators have a permanent
record of the verified count. The new
SurgiCount Tablet features a large,
10-inch display and interactive touch
screen with more menu options,
including wound-pack reconciliation.
Pole or wall-mount options enable
hands-free operation, and a slip-in
battery slot allows for continuous
operation without shutting down.
The SurgiCount Tablet also features
new Wi-Fi capability with real-time,
fully encrypted data transfer to a
secure cloud-based server that offers
integration with SurgiCount 360
software and an administrator portal
for password-protected VPN access
from any onsite or remote computer.
There’s a persistent stereotype
of surgeons as aloof and above
it all. By extension, many patients
might believe physicians spend
their whole lives in that distancing
bubble, completely removed from
commonplace digital communication tools.
In reality, surgeons are as invested in social media as anyone else.
An American College of Surgeons
survey published in 2015 found
that 55 percent of surgeons were
on Facebook, which aligned almost
perfectly with usage within the
general population (58 percent of
U.S. adults at the start of 2015).
As might be expected, that percentage will also spike upward as
younger physicians start practicing.
A recent study published in BJU
International showed that 72 percent of newly graduated urologists
entered their careers with Facebook profiles that were publicly
There’s nothing inherently wrong
with surgeons having an open
presence on social media, and there
can indeed be some real good that
comes out of it. Surgeons can demystify the work they do, making active
and potential patients more comfortable with procedures and more
confident about medical outcomes.
The opportunity to teach also
exists, with surgeons and other
healthcare professionals espe-
cially well-equipped to push back
against the clamor of suspect
medical miracle stories and other
clickbait nonsense. It’s unlikely
that doctors will ever again be free
of patients who arrive reciting the
litany of cures they read about
on the internet, but at least the
avenue is there to reach those
home researchers early with some
informed corrections in physi-
Of course, getting too loose with
social media can be risky.
The survey in BJU International
didn’t just find that a lot of new
doctors are proficient with social
media — it also finds reason to be
worried about this influx of plugged-in physicians.
In the study, 40 percent of the new
urologists included problematic content in their feeds, including unprofessional behavior that could undermine
credibility. More worrisome for the
healthcare facilities that will employ
these physicians was the finding that
confidential patient information was
sometimes passed along.
These blemishes weren’t simply
carelessly shared posts. In 82 percent of instances, the objectionable
content was self-authored.
There’s already been plentiful
discussion about how mentorship
methods need to shift as the next
generation enters the healthcare
workforce since the new professionals have heightened expectations around support and training.
Examining those new physicians'
communication strategies with external constituencies will be equally
Since there’s little doubt the next
wave of surgeons will help knock
away the cliche of doctor disconnection, it’s going to be important
to consider that the incoming
professionals have largely grown up
without overt wariness about what
they share of their lives on social
media. It’s not just potential looming HIPAA violations that should
compel healthcare leaders to set
policies and guidelines on public
interaction — institutional credibility
is on the line.
By Daniel Seeger, Editor