The reliability and convenience of medical carts like the rolling laptop cart with drawer have been a great help to employees in the healthcare industry, enabling the smooth running, efficiency and maneuverability needed in a busy hospital environment.  

Nevertheless, convenience and reliability should not ‘out-weigh’ the importance of making sure a medical cart adheres to the regulatory requirements.  Scott-Clark understands that healthcare professionals often want to tailor their carts for their needs, whilst still adhering to essential requirements.  They have provided the following information to enable healthcare professionals to make an informed and suitable choice.

FDA approval

Most medical carts will need to comply with IEC 60601-1 risk management testing because they will be connected to some form of electronics.  A rolling laptop cart with drawer is no exception.  

Voltage

Alongside all voltage, wattage, input and output currents being clearly labeled.  Tests should be run to check leakage current does not occur across the medical cart, which could pose a risk of electrical shock to anyone touching the cart.   

Batteries

There should be careful consideration regarding whether the Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT) should be a single or dual Lithium Ion Phosphate battery pack.

Venting and cable placement

Overheating is a serious risk with electronic equipment on medical carts, subsequently adequately and appropriately placed venting is essential.  Likewise, the placing of all cables should be carefully considered to make sure that they don’t pose a risk of electrical shorting and are aesthetically pleasing.  

Power switches

Power switches should be clearly labeled with ‘on’ and ‘off.’

Stability requirements

Medical carts should be able to move easily across a surface.  If they do not run smoothly and require some form of lifting to move them across the surface, they pose a risk of injury to the person doing the transporting.  Additionally, they may tip over, which could also cause injury both to passers-by and the operator of the cart.

Further consideration and testing will also need to be given if mounted monitors are installed because they can pose an instability risk if they make the cart unbalanced.

Wheels

Ideally, all four wheels on a cart should have a locking mechanism and be able to hold the cart stable on an incline of ten degrees.  In conjunction, the wheels should also be able to swivel and move unhindered.

Impact and collapse resistant

Carts should be able to withstand continuous use and be resistant to general wear and tear.  As well as impact and collapse resistant from the weight of added equipment or objects.

Locks

All locks on carts should be tamper resistant so that unauthorized people do not gain access to confidential information, dangerous material or medical supplies and equipment.   Ideally, these should either require the use of a proximity card or access code. The proximity coded locks are preferable in busy environments.

Hazard symbols and identification

All hazardous and dangerous materials should be clearly labeled with the appropriate symbols.  In addition, carts also need some form of clearly labeled identification.

All these labels need to be legible and durable from cleaning materials.  

Height, width and design

Carts should comply with the appropriate measurement to pass through doorways.  As well as have an adjustable height function for the operator of the cart, to avoid posture issues.  Carts that are capable of being folded and tucked away to minimize their footprint are ideal since they don’t take up too much space.

Materials and surfaces

The materials and surfaces of carts should be durable, easy to clean, comply with the safety standards for medical materials so that it doesn’t pose a risk of spreading infection.