Since urodynamics (UDS) is a relatively time consuming test, physicians who perform and interpret UDS are reliant on ancillary medical staff to perform much of the UDS study. This role is often performed by a mid-level provider, such as a nurse practitioner (NP), physician’s assistant (PA), registered nurse (RN) and even by a medical assistant or other trained technician (MA). The degree of medical knowledge needed to successfully perform a UDS test does not need to be extensive, hence providers do not need a medical or advanced degree to perform UDS; however, they do need to be proficient in setting the patient up for the test, know the key steps, know how to manage basic artifacts and when to engage the physician during a test.
UDS is a critical procedure in the practice of urology and the management of voiding dysfunction in men and women. All urologists receive exposure to UDS testing during residency training. In the United States, residents are required to perform and interpret 10 UDS studies in order to graduate from residency. In addition, some residents choose to undertake fellowship training in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS), where substantial exposure to UDS is had. UDS testing certainly is utilized in significantly more patients and a part of care for many other patients encounter during training; however, as with many other skills, there will be a wide range of exposure during training and quality will certainly vary between programs.
There has been a recent trend on the part of both pharmaceutical and medical device companies to employ nurses and then deploy them in the field in different roles to support their products—the products being drugs and devices, respectively. Given the clinical background and medical knowledge of nurses, this has been a win-win situation for everyone, including the end users of the products, such as patients and healthcare teams and professionals. For medical device companies that have overlooked the trend, it’s something that needs to be given some serious thought since nurse educator services can have a meaningful and lasting impact on medical device utilization rates.
As with many of the practical aspects of urodynamics (UDS) testing, the rate at which the bladder is filled during the cystometric portion of the exam influences the test results. Generally speaking, filling during UDS can be at rates below physiologic levels, at physiologic levels or at supra-physiologic levels. There are distinct pros and cons to filling at either physiologic rates or rates above that, while filling at a rate below the natural rate of bladder filling is both inefficient and unnatural.
If you ended up on this blog post, you are probably thinking about buying urodynamic equipment or are evaluating purchasing options. If you are, I am going to lay out an argument for not buying it. As with purchasing any medical equipment, there are many hidden pitfalls. I want to lay out some of these pitfalls and detail an alternative to buying urodynamics equipment.
As with many aspects of medical practice, a solid training foundation is critical to best practices and the safe delivery of care. When it comes to performing urodynamics (UDS), as with many other procedures, the question of what level of training is requisite to perform UDS appropriately is a reasonable one. And the natural extension of this is whether or not a specific certification process is warranted to perform UDS.
Providing top-notch medical device field service can sometimes feel like a logistical nightmare. The problems can seem too large to tackle, leaving you and your team in the proverbial “analysis paralysis”.
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Core services urologists must offer include basic history and examination ability, cystoscopy and access to and interpretation of relevant lab and/or radiologic studies of the urinary tract. A urologist who cannot offer these basic services is really not practicing urology. UDS is an important test that urologists offer; however, a urology practice can exist without offering UDS and still thrive.
The effective provision of medical device field service is not a simple process to optimize. There are many factors that influence operations, from resources and technology to staff management and coordination. Field service organizations that keep track of all of these different factors manage to provide a seamless and efficient service and keep their customers satisfied.
But no business is perfect from the get-go. In most cases, a period of trial and error is unavoidable while getting a grasp of the intricacies of running and managing field service operations, especially when it comes to medical devices. Being aware of the most common mistakes made in the delivery of field service support can significantly shorten the learning curve.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common errors that medical device field service organizations commit while providing and managing their service:
Urodynamics (UDS) testing is a critical tool for the urologist managing voiding dysfunction and incontinence.
Like all tests, there are certain scenarios where the results are more helpful than others and times when using a test is critical.
This blog posts explores several key situations when UDS is a critical test to consider.