What is IONM?
Any surgical procedure that involves the nervous system, directly or indirectly, inherently places those neural structures at risk. The integrity of any structure at risk can be monitored using various techniques. These techniques are known as intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring, or IONM. If a change in a neural structure occurs during the procedure, the technologist reports this change to the surgeon. An intervention may then be initiated by either the surgeon or anesthesia staff. The goal of such monitoring is to identify changes in brain, spinal cord, and/or peripheral nerves in order to prevent debilitating deficits and irreversible nerve damage. IONM may also be used to help guide the surgeon during an operation in order to obtain more precise results.
Why is IONM important for patients?
When you need to undergo a delicate procedure that involves the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves, Biotronic can help protect you better than anyone else in the industry. These delicate procedures inherently place your nervous system at risk for damage. When your surgeon partners with Biotronic, a technician monitors these nerves and works together with your surgeon to eliminate and reduce your chances of permanent nerve damage. Research has proven IONM to be effective in decreasing the chance of nerve damage and providing patients with better surgery results.
How long has Biotronic provided IONM services?
Dr. H.B. Calder founded Biotronic in 1978, in response to medical evidence that showed that monitoring the function of somatosensory pathways through the spine could aid in the prevention of debilitating injuries to the spinal cord during scoliosis surgeries. In 1984, Biotronic instituted a service to provide neuroprotection through surgical evoked potential monitoring to hospitals in the Detroit, Michigan area. That year, Biotronic developed programs at major teaching hospitals for spinal cord and facial nerve monitoring, in addition to a surgical monitoring program in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring has become a mature, sophisticated healthcare practice and many diverse and complex strategies have evolved to protect an ever expanding range of neural structures.
What type of surgeries does Biotronic monitor?
Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM) is used to monitor patient’s unique neural functions associated with the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Common surgical procedures include: neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology surgery, cardiovascular surgery, and cardiothoracic surgery. However IONM may be used for any surgery that potentially may place the nervous system at risk. Biotronic’s high skilled staff is available to cover a diverse caseload from spinal cord monitoring to complicated intracranial brain function mapping.
Who does the monitoring?
Biotronic’s supervisory model brings decades of experience to each surgery. Biotronic requires each monitoring technician to obtain Certification in Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring, or CNIM, through the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). Biotronic technologists are onsite and monitor procedures in the operating room. Additionally, a Diplomat of the American Board of Neurophysiologic Monitoring (D-ABNM) or certified physicians are available to monitor surgeries remotely to add an additional layer of protection and quality assurance.
What is the benefit of having a technologist monitor surgery?
Biotronic monitoring technologists have extensive skills and experience in neuromonitoring. Furthermore every technologist at Biotronic is required to master up to 12 clinical competencies and all technologists must obtain Certification in Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring (CNIM) through the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET).
Unlike an unattended monitoring system (such as the NuVasive NeuroVision JJB System or the Medtronic NIM-Spine System) a monitoring technologist is present in the operating room to focus all of their attention on continuously monitoring the patient so that the surgeon may have peace of mind and focus on the surgery. A certified professional will further be available to monitor remotely and interpret the data and offer their expertise in order to enhance the safety of the procedure and reduce the risk of permanent neural damage.
Are Biotronic technologists credentialed?
Yes, Biotronic technologists are required to master up to 12 clinical competencies beginning with a 14 week educational and training program approved by the Joint Commission. This comprehensive training program is the most intense and thorough program in the United States. Additionally, every Biotronic technician is required to obtain Certification in Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring, or CNIM, through the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists, or ABRET.
What does the hospital need to supply?
Biotronic supplies state of the art equipment, technology, and supplies eliminating any unnecessary expenditures. The hospitals only obligation is internet connectivity.
Is Biotronic available to cover weekend, evening, or emergency cases?
Yes, Biotronic’s monitoring services are available 24/7/365. With Biotronic as your inoperative neural monitoring partner, you never need to worry about someone calling in sick or going on vacation. With Biotronic’s national reach and scale your patients and surgeons are covered every day of the year.
Does Biotronic offer remote professional supervision?
Biotronic was the first in the industry to develop the infrastructure needed for real time remote supervision, or remote neural monitoring. While technologists gather data in the operating room, Biotronic neurologists and/or D-ABNM staff interpret the data from a remote location through a secure virtual private network (VPN) and provide instant feedback to surgeons on the status of patients’ neural pathways. Through this remote monitoring Biotronic is able to bring professional monitoring to virtually any hospital.
Is Biotronic able to cover surgical cases in my area?
Yes! Biotronic technologists and scheduling staff are available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
If you are a patient and interested in having Biotronic monitor your procedure, contact your physician to find out if your hospital provides IONM services. If you are a healthcare provider and interested in optimizing your patients’ surgery results with Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring please Contact Us to speak with a Biotronic representative near you to discuss acquiring IONM services at your facility.