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Seeing the Benefit of Certified Surgery Lights

Posted on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 @ 03:52 PM

Shor-Line announced that the Prelude LED Surgery Lights are UL/CSA certified, but some ask why it matters. The simple answer is that the lights are certified to Medical Electrical Equipment (Surgical Luminaire) standards…and not all manufacturers are willing to invest in that level of scrutiny.


To become certified, the LED lights need to conform to rigorous standards of performance for both human and veterinary standards. Light brightness and color clarity must fall consistently into given specifications, and the lights must meet stringent manufacturing standards and testing.

Switching over to LED surgery lights or upgrading your current lights is a big decision. A U.S. Department of Energy task force developed a great report on LED surgery lights that is a must read for anyone moving to LEDs. It will help you evaluate your choices.

Features to consider

The Prelude LED Surgery Lights have superior features to the halogen lights you have been using during surgery.

  • Uses less wattage to produce equivalent light levels and therefore saves money in the longterm.
  • Emits less heat into the room than halogen lights, which provides more comfort to the patient, surgeon and assistants.
  • Promises greater bulb life and predictable performance in an operating room setting.

These are features to consider:

  • High illumination. A significant amount of light is required, by standard, for surgery. The Prelude gives you 90,000 LUX at one meter.
  • Shadow reduction. Contour shadows help you distinguish the organs and masses during surgery while contrast shadows are distracting. The ideal light provides a balance, which is one of the more important features of the Prelude.
  • Color temperature. Color temperatures below 3500 degrees K can take on a red or pink hue, distorting your view of the important red spectrum. The Prelude has a 4500 degrees K color temperature. (Daylight at noon is 4000 to 6500K.)
  • Adjustable positioning. Likely there will be several veterinarians using the light, so the light needs to position easily for the tallest vet and the shortest vet. The Prelude has a 360-degree positioning flexibility with no light head drift.

What works for your practice?

The Prelude LED Surgery Light can last up to 100,000 hours, which could be the remainder of your practicing life. Shor-Line  quality is known for durability, so making our LED light stand the test of time was important.

During this time, the Surgery Light will serve many veterinarians and technicians of different heights and working styles. At trade shows, we encourage veterinarians to move the lights in circles and quickly position them. In short, to see if the light can be adjusted to their comfort level.

Our surgery arm system is the most flexible in the industry, allowing you to move it 360 degrees. It stays where you put it and does not drift. No matter where you need the light positioned, it will be there.

Like many technical improvements, the products become more affordable as high-quality manufacturers develop ways to deliver the quality you need at the price you can afford. The Prelude LED Surgery Lights are performing under the highest medical standards for surgical lighting affordable in the veterinary market.



Tags: veterinary clinic, veterinary, Hospital Design, New Products, Veterinary Surgery Lights

Designed for Efficiency

Posted on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 09:23 AM

Choosing the right design elements can help your team members do their jobs better—and faster.

By Michael D. Smith

If you could change anything in your current veterinary facility, what changes would help you perform your job more easily? Once you pose this question to every team member, you’ll have the information you need to build or renovate a facility that supports efficient work habits throughout the hospital. Use the following ideas to help jumpstart your efforts.

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Reception Areas
For receptionists to work efficiently, they need a front desk area that can accommodate multiple owners and their pets, says Stephen J. Kramer, a San Antonio-based architect with extensive experience in veterinary hospital design. That means ample counter space and, better yet, separate check-in and checkout areas. Some clinics build a separate telephone station so one person can man the phones while another person can attend to clients without interruption.

Another way to increase efficiency up front is by making communication with team members in the back easier. You can accomplish this with a practicewide telephone system, overhead paging, and a design that provides easier access to the treatment area.

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Exam and Treatment Areas
Technicians and veterinarians perform most of their jobs in exam rooms and treatment rooms. To encourage efficiency in exam rooms, many new clinic owners equip these rooms with telephones, computers, and even desks. This allows doctors and technicians to access patient files and communicate with other team members without leaving the room.

If square footage is an issue, the exam pod concept—a new trend in veterinary hospital design—groups exam rooms around a central area. Each room has one door that opens into this area.

Traditionally, the treatment area is the hub of the hospital. At Magrane Pet Medical Center in Mishawaka, Ind., the treatment area is a large space with the other clinic areas (except the exam rooms) radiating from it. “It’s an efficient arrangement for saving steps and allowing
verbal and visual communication between staff members,” says coowner Ronald Doversberger, DVM. “Nobody is wasting time walking up and down hallways.”

Equipment that serves dual purposes also increases efficiency. One example: a lift-table with a built-in scale. At Magrane Pet Animal Hospital, every exam room features a drop-leaf, foldup, or mobile lift table. Such options accommodate different patients with ease and speed.

Shor-Line Blog

Surgery Rooms
Technicians and veterinarians also spend a considerable amount of time in the surgery suite. To work efficiently, Kramer says ample space is essential. “The space should accommodate anesthesia or specialty equipment (e.g., ultrasound) and provide enough room so everyone can move around easily,” he says.

Pass-through windows between prep and surgery areas also save time and, therefore, improve efficiency. Capitalizing on the time-saving aspect of pass-through windows, some clinics install these windows in laboratories and pharmacies toallow access to other areas, such as treatment and reception.

Speaking of pharmacies, Dr. Doversberger explains how a simple design strategy solved a
recurrent problem for staff members. “We fill lots of prescriptions every day,” he begins. “In our old hospital, the staff would have to refill the allotted space for vials and caps three times a day. In our new hospital, we eliminated this problem by designing cabinetry with extra-large bins. It worked out perfectly.”

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Boarding and Grooming Areas
When it comes to boarding and grooming areas, one word is synonymous with efficiency: cleanliness. The easier it is for team members to keep these areas clean, the more time they’ll have to attend to animals’ needs.

What design elements facilitate easy cleanup? Wall and floor coverings are two important ones. In addition, Kramer says his firm likes to incorporate trench drains that can be flushed automatically. He also recommends a central, in-wall vacuum system, which makes cleaning even more efficient because it can be used throughout the entire hospital.

Boarding and grooming personnel can also work more easily, quickly, and safely if the clinic provides a step-up tub for larger dogs.

These ideas are only the beginning. When you sit down with staff members to gather their input, develop a list of design elements that meet your specific needs. The criterion is quite simple: Any feature that makes it easier for you and your team members to do your jobs better means more efficiency—and that makes a great case for including that feature in your new hospital.

Tags: veterinary equipment, veterinary clinic, veterinary, Animal Care, Hospital Design, Shor-Line

Kennel Run System Hardware - Protect It!

Posted on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 @ 01:08 PM

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Written by contributing editor Rob Eckwall

Kennel Runs are an important part of a successful veterinary or animal care enterprise, but kennel runs are only as good as their installation. An installation is only as good as the installers and the hardware they use to do it. This post focuses on issues related to kennel run hardware.

Quality kennel run products will come complete with the specialized hardware necessary to install them properly. This includes high-quality stainless steel barrel nuts & screws, face plates, trim, latch bars & brackets and customized connectors for whichever type of installation your job requires. 

A manufacturer should know how important hardware is to a kennel run system.  With this in mind, following these guidelines ensures the best possible outcome for a new kennel run project:


  • As soon as possible upon delivery of your order, make sure all hardware is labeled, received, and accounted for. Some hardware may have been manufactured specifically for your job therefore it is very important to account for all hardware as soon as possible.
  • Contact your provider immediately if there are any questions or problems.
  • Segregate your hardware from surrounding construction activities and keep hardware together. Protect it.
  • Bulk fastener hardware (i.e., barrel nuts and screws) will likely include an extra 10% or so over what is required. For all other hardware it is more likely that the exact amount will be provided (although there may be an extra piece or two for some items).
  • Refer to your installation manual and only take and use the hardware needed for each run, room, or area you are working in – do not move it in bulk to each area. This helps prevent hardware from getting lost, misplaced, and/or scattered throughout the job site and becoming difficult to account for later on.

In the unlikely event of a shortage in your hardware, your provider should supply the remainder needed to finish the job. If for some reason however you wind up needing ‘extra’ hardware, you will likely be charged for it and the shipping of it. If next day air is requested, you will likely incur those charges as well.

Following the guidelines above will help you stay on track and complete your construction project in a timely manner. 

Tags: veterinary equipment, veterinary clinic, veterinary, Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design

Kennel Run Systems Order Process

Posted on Tue, Sep 10, 2013 @ 01:16 PM

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Written by contributing editor Rob Eckwall

It all starts with you.

This will be a much more individual purchase than it is for many of the other items in your veterinary hospital. You don’t just open a catalog and select from a couple of options like you would for a table, tub, or scale. While all kennel gates and panels are made to standard design parameters they are configured to meet your individual needs.

It is important to remember that the building is part of the Kennel Run design. Things like wall construction, window and door locations, drainage and floor slopes are all part of your kennel considerations. For most people this is a long-term investment. Cutting corners on the design and construction now will most likely result in higher costs for maintenance and repairs later. Good drainage and airflow along with a well-lighted kennel will provide a safe, comfortable environment for both the client and the staff. It is also important to choose materials that do not absorb water or harbor bacteria.

Common steps in the order process for any installation type:

1. We will require a sketch or drawing of your new or existing Kennel Run area. It should include room size measurements along with door, window, and drain locations. It is also helpful to know the planned use of kennels (i.e.,: boarding, hospital patient, Icu and recovery, etc.). this will assist with selecting the best options.

2. Choose the options that are right for your needs:

  • Grill or glass gate
  • Food or water bowls
  • Transfer doors
  • Partition panels
  • Grill or glass above 48” height on partitions

3. Get a quote based on the number of Kennel Runs and configuration with the options you have chosen.

4. You will receive drawings for approval. These will illustrate the options you have chosen, show how they are installed and indicate the sizes and space requirements for your installation. This is a critical step in the process. Your kennels will be manufactured per these drawings. Also, the correct hardware needed for a successful installation will be determined from these drawings.

5. Once we have approved drawings your order can be finalized. This is also when all credit terms must be agreed upon and any down payments applied.

6. The lead time for your order is determined on an individual basis. We make every attempt to meet your schedule. However, things like current shop capacity, other items on your order, the size of your order and amount of custom work required all affect your lead time.

Once your order is complete you must be prepared to receive your shipment. Your order will be shipped to you by truck line. Your components will be on pallets that can be moved both in our warehouse and by the shipper by forklift. Depending on the size and type of gates and panels you have ordered each piece may weigh 50 – 100 lbs. Unless other arrangements have been made it will be your responsibility to unload the truck and bring the gates and panels into your facility. Knowing what to expect, and the steps involved, should help the process go smoothly and alleviate at least some of the stresses involved with a project of this type.

As always, feel free to call us at 800.444.1579 at any time during your order with any questions or concerns. We are happy to help.

Tags: veterinary equipment, veterinary clinic, veterinary, Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design, Shor-Line

Get On Board

Posted on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 11:49 AM

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Effective July 1, 2013 T-Kennel will be an integrated product family within the Shor-Line brand. Schroer Manufacturing Company acquired T-Kennel in 1994 as an expansion of the kennel run product family pioneering specialized kennel run systems with proprietary drainage systems.

Kansas City brothers Karl and Gerhard Schroer founded Schroer Manufacturing Company in 1927 based on the principle of quality craftsmanship and materials. While the company has evolved over the past 86 years, the brothers would be proud to know that Shor-Line’s dedication to customer service has remained the number one priority.

By integrating T-Kennel into the Shor-Line brand, we will maintain the tradition of superior customer service. Providing a family of kennel run products that customers can tailor to their needs, specifications, and price point. This will serve you, our valued customer, more efficiently. In addition to serving you, we will continue to collaborate with industry professionals to offer innovative products that enhance animal care.

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Tags: Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design, Shor-Line Happenings

Five Tips for Getting Started

Posted on Tue, Jul 02, 2013 @ 09:51 AM

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Where do I start?  What are the first steps?  What information do I need to provide?  These are some of the most frequently asked questions that we, as architects, get from prospective clients.  And they are good questions!  The design process can be very confusing and overwhelming, so here are a few tips to help you get started.



      As you start thinking about a site or location for your new facility, be sure to do your homework.  Check that the site is zoned properly for your use.  Make sure your site is large enough to accommodate both the size of the building you want AND the required amount of parking.  Look into local code and regulation compliance requirements.  Investigate the size and capacity of the utilities that currently serve the site.  It is important to know all of these things about a site or a new building before you buy or sign a lease, because they can all be difficult and/or expensive to overcome later in the process.



          If you are purchasing an existing building, building out a lease space, or expanding/renovating your existing facility, it helps to gather as much information as you can about the existing building.  A set of blueprints is ideal.  Oftentimes, original plans for a building are rolled up and tucked away in a utility closet or storage room.  If you can’t find them, you can always check with the local building department to see what they have on record.  Or you can ask the building department for the name of the original architect and try to track down drawings from them directly.  It is not absolutely necessary to have a copy of the previous building plans, but if you do, it can help to speed up the design process.


            3. TALK TO BANK LENDERS.

              Knowing what you can afford and how much you will be able to borrow will help define the size and parameters of your project in the beginning stages of the design process.  As a general rule of thumb, you can typically borrow your annual gross.  However, getting some advice from your bank early in the process can prevent designing a new facility that you love, only to find out you can’t afford to build it.



                  If you have gathered the above information and still aren’t quite sure if your project makes the most financial and logistical sense, let your architect help.  Your architect can do a feasibility study that will look at all the information you have gathered, combine it with their design and construction expertise, and use that information to help you decide whether or not to move forward.


                    5. GATHER TOGETHER IDEAS THAT YOU LIKE. 

                      You don’t have to have it all figured out, but having a general idea of what you would like in your new building will help drive the design in the right direction from the beginning.  Talk to colleagues who have recently remodeled or built a new facility, and ask them what works well and what doesn’t.  Visit as many animal care facilities as possible, especially new ones, and take note of what design elements, spaces, materials, and finishes appeal to you.  And finally, think through your day-to-day operations to decide if any of your current spaces are under-utilized, too large, too small, or if you need a space that you don’t have at all.  The more thought you  put into these things ahead of time, the easier it will be for your architect to help you create your ideal design. 

                       shorline blog


                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors

                      Pets & Landscaping

                      Posted on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

                      shorline blog

                      Landscaping the outside of your practice can pose problems—especially when your patients use those areas as dining rooms or bathrooms.

                      Before buying and planting any trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers, write down your potential picks and compare them with the lists of toxic and nontoxic plants compiled by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). To learn more visit the following links:

                      ASPCA | Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants

                      ASPCA | Plants and Trees

                      Filling your landscape with pet-friendly flora will keep pets safe. But what about the plants? To protect them from urine damage, implement one or more of the following strategies:

                      • Buy mature trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers, and plant them in clusters.
                      • Use raised planter boxes, and surround them with brick, rock, or wood.
                      • Create specific elimination areas using shredded wood or gravel.

                      Shor-Line Blog

                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design

                      Clearing the Clutter

                      Posted on Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

                      shor-line blog

                      Nothing spoils a space faster than clutter, especially in the places clients see most—reception areas and exam rooms. Keep clutter under control with these tips from Tracy Axcell:

                      1. USE VERTICAL WALL & CUPBOARD SPACE

                      Hang wall-mountable racks and files to house reading materials, forms, and other paperwork. For cupboards, measure the depth, height, and width of each shelf and purchase stackable containers. Label each container with a list of its contents.


                      2. USE FILE & DRAWER SPACE

                      Hanging files keep papers organized and out of sight. Papers used on a daily basis can be kept in an active file at the front of the drawer. Use drawer organizers with dividers or compartments to organize small instruments and supplies. Label the compartments for easy locating.


                      3. CONTROL MULTIPLE CORDS

                      Unplug cords and straighten them to their full length. Fasten cords together so they form one long rope, and tie them with a store-bought cable organizer or zip ties. Tuck the rope along baseboards or the backs of cabinets.

                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Industry Trends

                      How Should I Handle Pest Control in a New Clinic?

                      Posted on Fri, May 24, 2013 @ 02:33 PM

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                      Pest protection is both an exterior and interior concern. Termites can sabotage a clinic’s outside walls, and pets can bring fleas and ticks inside. Prevent all three from invading your clinic with these patient-safe strategies from James Marshall Jr., AIA, in Prairie Village, Kansas:


                      TERMITE TREATMENTS

                      • Treat the ground before building begins. Pesticides that are applied under the foundation are too deep to endanger animals.
                      • If possible, keep all structural wood one foot above the soil.
                      • Choose wood that has been pressure-treated with pesticides for structural beams and fence posts.
                      • Install metal termite shields around in-ground wooden beams.
                      • Avoid stucco siding that reaches the ground. The porous material creates termite entry points.


                      FLEAS & TICKS

                      • Extend floor tiles about five inches up the sides of the walls, using epoxy for the grouting. These materials can withstand frequent cleaning, but fleas and ticks can’t. Less expensive linoleum and sheet-vinyl floors are also an option, but they can crack within a few years of installation, so repair costs often offset the initial savings.
                      • Seal case work and plumbing features with silicone. This coating denies fleas and ticks access to their favorite hiding places.


                      Tags: Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design, Q&A, Industry Trends

                      Tips for an Exceptional Exam Room

                      Posted on Fri, May 17, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

                       Exceptional Exam Rooms


                      Clients spend the most time here, so let the design illustrate your level of care and competence.

                      Once upon a time, veterinary exam rooms were comfortable, uncluttered, and easy-to-clean areas where practitioners performed physical examinations on pets. This definition isn’t wrong, it’s just outdated. Today’s exam rooms need more features that reflect the high-quality care and customer service clients have come to expect.

                      When it’s time to design or renovate your exam rooms, modernize them by ensuring they fit these criteria suggested by Dennis Cloud, DVM, owner of Cloud Veterinary Center in St. Louis, Mo.



                      1. PLENTIFUL
                      Fit as many exam rooms into your clinic as possible. “Contemporary exam rooms are used for more than physical exams,” Dr. Cloud says. “They’re also used to educate clients, schedule follow-up appointments, and check out clients. We have two rooms per doctor now, and we frequently need another.”



                      2. SPACIOUS
                      Make the rooms large enough to use the space efficiently. “It’s not unusual for me to have a mother, three kids, and two Labradors in one exam room,” Dr. Cloud says. “You need enough space to sit down with clients, talk to them, and put them at ease.”



                      3. FLEXIBLE
                      Equip at least one exam room with a mobile, lifting exam table. If a client arrives with a dog that’s been hit by a car, you can take the table out to the car and return directly to the exam room with the dog.

                      In other rooms, folding wall tables save space and eliminate a barrier between you and clients. They can also create a more open feel in exam/grieving rooms.



                      4. WELL-ORGANIZED
                      Adequate storage space is essential for a thoroughly equipped exam room, so plan ahead. And don’t forget client education materials. Dr. Cloud stores his inside the cabinets and displays them in wall racks.



                      5. TECH-READY
                      Every exam room should have a computer keyboard and monitor, Dr. Cloud says. This allows staff members to check medical records, schedule follow-up appointments, and take payments. Often, clients feel more at ease when they can talk about money or credit in private. (With wireless capabilities, staff members can use laptop computers. Flat-panel, wall-mounted monitors save space.)

                      To educate clients more effectively, upgrade your clinic with digital technology (e.g., digital photography, radiography, ultrasonography, endoscopy, and electrocardiograms) so clients can see images and results on the exam room monitors.

                      Tags: Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design