We use SIS (Surgical Information Systems) software for pre-en, and intra-op use. Soon to expand to PACU. Soon to have a centralized screen, infroming the charge nurse/manager of cases in progress, estimated time left, etc.
Although this system (according to my managers) is rated as one of the top programs in the country, I do not like it. As Urology team leader, I would like to be able to ask the system to pront me up a schedule for the upcoming days or weeks that include only the urology doctors. Guess what? The system cannot do that. Only can print up an entire schedule (you state the time frame) by department (we have main, CVOR, and day surgery). I cannot think of them off the top of my head, but tehre are a few things that the team leaders have requested of the system, and the experts inform us that it is not possible. Also, at the beginning I found it very hard to learn - not very user friendly - and I consider myself good on computers!! Of course, now I am used to it, and get by just fine.
Determine what your needs are. Be sure that you can enter inventory, track use, make and update preference cards, pront pick sheets, do chargesm and all that other stuff that you need to do easily. I highly suggest that someone invested in the best interests of the department (and the staff) visit other hospitals that use the programs that you are considering and see them in action (intra-op, pre-op, making and updating cards, etc).
Also, when you enter your data (names of instruments, procedures, etc), it would be helpful to determine the method in ADVANCE!! (think of it as diagramming a sentance in grade school). You may want to have ALL your trays listed with the word 'tray' preceeding (i.e. Tray, abdominal; tray, minor) rather than the other way aroung. Makes it easy to find and choose a tray. Likewise, the main oirtion of the equipment or procedure should be listed first, place descriptives toward the end. (Clamp, kelly; Forcep, tissue, debakey; laparotomy, exploratory; hysterectomy, abdominal) Believe me, it will be most helpful in the future!! Wwe do not have it like that. The hospital hired temps to do data entery. No a good idea. Should be someone familiar with surgery, procedures, instruments, etc!!!
Sorry for the ramble - I hope that I was helpful.