Medical COW carts, specialty carts, battery carts, and other carts used in healthcare facilities all focus on one thing: improving your ability to provide excellent patient care.

Cart design has come a long way from the simple mobile TV dinner trays on wheels concept in the 1940s and 1950s.

Today, mobile carts provide high-tech solutions that can have a major impact on other aspects of hospital administration in addition to optimizing patient care. For example, medical carts improve operational effectiveness, help keep patients safer, and make it easier and faster for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to do his or her job.

Cart Overview

Modern medical carts generally are made of stainless steel or other germ-resistant, lightweight materials.

The casters have special features to minimize tracking dirt or contaminants from one location to another.

Most have a top shelf or work area and come equipped with a wide variety of custom options.

You can buy new or used carts and can have your existing carts refurbished at the factory or on-site to your exact specifications.

Computers and Carts

The advent of COWs, computers on wheels, along with the HIPPA and electronic medical regulations requirements, started the medical cart revolution in hospitals.

Hospitals quickly realized that putting a computer on a cart allowed doctors and other healthcare staff to not only enter patient data immediately but allow other authorized care providers instant access to the updates.

The patients too, using a smartphone or other device, could access the data and more fully engage in his or her own care.

Solid, secure Wi-Fi service, cloud storage, and robust IT management helped maintain the data and keep it safe.

Safety Improvements

By using medical carts with computers, patient safety has improved. Entering data immediately rather than taking notes, later transcribing them at a universal PC station helps minimize the chance of forgetting something or inadvertently entering the wrong data.

Batteries

Another improvement that medical carts made in streamlining and improving patient care were the advent of battery carts.

Battery carts began as something required to allow nursing and other staff to use their laptops throughout a shift without recharging the battery.

Manufacturers began to design carts with integrated mobile cart power technology using easily detachable batteries to meet this need.

Batteries allowed clinics to use printers, RFID scanners, and other electronic items at the patient’s bedside. This saves staff time and creates economies of scale.

Hot-swap batteries and customized battery systems so that if a battery became drained in the middle of using the computer or equipment, you could seamlessly switch batteries without losing power.

Medicine

Medical carts help improve the way doctors and nurses dispense medicine to patients. Medicine carts can be stocked with certain medicines generally used in patient care.

These carts have secure drawers, including biometric locks if desired. You can equip the cart with systems to provide a record of when the drawer was opened, who opened it, and what medicines the healthcare worker dispensed.

Emergency Carts

The medical cart revolution has also helped improve emergency room (EMR) care.

Hospitals can pre-position crash carts in the emergency rooms, pre-loaded and specifically designed to house emergency room equipment.

Many EMRs have more than one cart, one specifically for cardiac emergencies, for example, and another with more general emergency equipment.

Customization

Medical facilities now order customized carts to meet the clinic’s exact specifications.

There may be a cart for each treatment room. You may have one for anesthesia, one for the cardiac area, and another for pediatric medicine.

Manufacturers can include integrated IV poles and other items often used by healthcare staff.

Lisa is a professional writer who enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. She has degrees in English and Secondary Education and has been writing professionally in the medical niche for the last three years, including pieces on dentistry and health and fitness. Her interest in the medical field began with her mother’s job as a dental nurse, and she has continued to nurture her interest in learning extensively about the diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions.
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