Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why I *Love* the new SciCan Statim G4… and Why It has Changed Us for the Better

Statim 5000 G4.jpg
In the fall of 2012, we began using the next generation Statim sterilizer; the Statim 5000 G4.
It has many nice upgrades from previous models, but the best one, in my opinion, was the fact that it is Internet enabled.  That's right, this thing has an Ethernet part built right in and it connects to my office network.
Why is this important?  What's the big deal about a sterilizer that has an IP address and connects to my office network?  The simple answer is: the connection allows the device access to the Internet.
The G4 is one of the first (but many more are coming) Internet enabled *smart dental devices*.  Not only is the device on the 'net, but it communicates with both SciCan (its manufacturer) and my preferred dental dealer Goetze Dental to keep them advised of any problems the device may be able to detect.
One of the problems we battle with autoclaves is when they malfunction.  Normally a failed sterilization cycle results in lost productivity & often error "codes" that require either a phone call for help or at best a review of the operator's manual to translate the code into the reason for the problem and, hopefully, a fix that can be rendered quickly to get the device back in service.  Of course the worst case scenario is that there is no quick or easy fix and a service tech visit is needed.
In our office, we run 3 autoclaves so having one down is not critical, but for many offices there is only one and the above scenario can bring the entire schedule to a grinding halt impacting patients and the office as well.  At that point, usually a service tech is dispatched post-haste with a loaner device and the malfunctioning one is taken back to the shop for repairs.  Of course this only works (even remotely efficiently) if the office is in a town or city where the dental repair facility is.  If the office is a bit remote, it may take a day or more to get the loaner.
Now you see the real advantage of the Internet connection.  When the G4 senses a problem, it can let SciCan know and the problem can be rectified over the phone… or if a service tech is needed, they know the problem and can bring the correct parts to fix the problem.
Here's an example from this week.
On Wednesday our office got a call from SciCan.  It seems that our G4 has self aborted 2 back to back sterilization cycles and SciCan wanted to let us know how to correct the  problem.  The water reservoir was low (no steam, hence the self abort) and the float that indicated the water level was stuck.  The device "thought" it had water and wasn't telling us too fill the reservoir, but in reality  there was none.  Dental Assistant Sam took the call and SciCan quickly talked her through the fix.  In a matter of minutes our Statim G4 was back up and running.
In the old days we would have probably tried one more time and then called for service.  However, now we were quickly back and ready to roll.  If you are in the market for an autoclave that can actually communicate… as well as sterilize in amazingly fast cycles, take a good look at the Statim G4.  I think you'll like what you see.

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