When computers-on-wheels (COWs) were first introduced into the healthcare industry, many nurses and doctors found themselves continually frustrated by short battery hours with few places to plug their carts in. Because of this, medical laptops on wheels were often parked in the hall to recharge, making doctors and nurses have to leave their patients’ rooms to input data, order tests, and retrieve results.

One of the problems COWs was supposed to solve was the amount of time a doctor or nurse spent outside of a patient’s room doing menial tasks or retrieving information. Now with Hot Swap battery technology, medical computer carts can power for an entire shift, and the batteries can be quickly changed if needed.

Improving provider efficiency

Healthcare providers have historically been required to leave a patient in the room if they need to look up healthcare record information, condition symptoms, test results, or to forward on prescriptions. These constant trips to and from a patient’s room reduces the amount of quality time a provider can spend understanding their patient’s concerns and medical issues.

Providers were also required to enter the majority of their data whenever they had free time, and there was an available computer. This meant that doctors and nurses were entering upwards of 20 patients’ data into the system. After a long shift with very few breaks, especially in a hospital setting, this led to an increase in data entry errors. Data entry errors account for about $12.2 million in medical liability cases according to a five-year study.

The less time a provider has to spend outside of a patient’s room means they can spend more time providing actual and direct patient care. Medical laptops on wheels provide the added time for doctors and nurses to do the jobs they enjoy.

Decreasing length of patient stay

Because many tasks can be performed on a medical laptop cart, a recent analysis of emergency departments show that bedside registration of a patient can cut down on a patient’s stay by 30 minutes. Because doctors and nurses can also access information and order tests directly from the patient’s bedside, this also cuts down on the length of time a patient must spend in the emergency room.

After a diagnosis, a doctor can send information via computer to the patient’s pharmacy, if needed, or look up the names of specialists for further testing. A doctor can even print up or send over a referral if the patient’s insurance requires it. This means that patients spend less time waiting for their doctor to find a computer to perform these tasks, and more time getting home or getting to a specialist to treat their condition.

Improving patient satisfaction

Increased face-time with a doctor or nurse has been shown to improve patient satisfaction. Patients who feel like they’re more than just another number on the list, and who are having their concerns and issues heard are more likely to walk out of a healthcare facility feeling confident that their medical condition has been properly addressed.

Hot Swap technology

The ability to take these COWs anywhere in a hospital and not have to worry about the power system allows providers a certain amount of freedom and increased efficiency. Because they can spend more time with their patients, patient satisfaction is also increased by the use of COWs with Hot Swap battery technology.

Hot Swap batteries are lightweight and easy to switch out. When a provider notices the low battery indicator on their cart, they have about 20 minutes to stop and switch out the battery. The switch takes less than 30 seconds, and the cart is ready to roll again for another 6-10 hours.

This reduces the number of carts cluttering hallways while charging and provides a readily available power source for any cart in the hospital.

Hot Swap batteries can be used for telemedicine, pole mounted vital sign computers, new mobile computer carts and retrofitted existing computer carts.

If you have any questions about Hot Swap batteries or any of our medical carts, please contact Scott-Clark Medical at 512-756-7300. Scott-Clark batteries come with a five-year warranty.

Emma Reed has a background in Psychology (B.A.) and Medical Anthropology (M.S.) and writes for a variety of medical publications. Her passion is making cutting-edge medical information accessible to a wider audience, and her work often examines the intersections of sociology, anthropology, and medicine.
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