Crash carts are integral to patient care and are built to accompany doctors to treat emergency, life-threatening situations in hospital settings. Not all crash carts are designed the same or offer equal functionality, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision about which type of crash cart is best for your facility.
About Crash Carts
Crash carts hold the equipment and medications needed to treat patients in the first 30 minutes of a medical emergency. State agencies legally require code carts in certain health care locations and recommend them in many more areas to improve life-saving patient care.
What Matters in a Crash Cart
Having a crash cart well-suited to your practice can make a huge impact on the quality of care patients receive. We’ve compiled a list of four things you should look for in your crash cart.
Crash carts are meant to travel, so a lightweight yet durable cart will make the process smoother and more efficient. Carts are often made from a combination of aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic for a lasting product that is weight-conscious.
Keeping carts streamlined cuts down on bulk, allows for easier steering, and ensures they fit neatly into patient bays.
Carts should be easy to move, but only when you want them to. Easily accessible wheel locks are important for keeping a cart stable when it’s not in transit.
2.Organized Storage System
The layout and organization of a crash cart make a big difference to its functionality and accessibility, especially with so many people who use and maintain the cart. A smart organizational system makes monthly maintenance easier by allowing staff to quickly check expiration dates and refresh supplies.
When you add to that that a cart is expected to house expensive specialty equipment alongside more frequently used products, like sodium chloride, a proper layout becomes even more important.
The optimal layout of a cart will depend on its role in the healthcare field, making custom carts a popular option among emergency care professionals. Adult crash carts often have different arrangements than pediatric crash carts, and specialty practices require still different instruments and layouts. Where anesthesia is practiced, intubation equipment is important to have on board.
Some organizational features are relatively constant throughout crash cart design. The heart monitor and defibrillator are kept on top of the cart for easy access during common cardiac codes, while IV fluids are often hung on the back of the cart or stored in a drawer.
Drawer space and division capabilities are a major part of cart organization. Drawer labels are not for informational purposes only but are necessary for keeping emergency medications organized by allowing for easy identification and restocking.
Exterior storage for oxygen tanks and portable suction machines is a common storage solution, but these life-saving instruments can also be stored inside the cart in many newer models.
Crash carts will not work without power. In some hospitals, carts are out of commission for large parts of the day while they recharge. To minimize the number of carts needed in your facility, ensure the power source is reliable and easily charged.
Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology is a trusted solution to power mobile computing devices. It provides a 6 to 10-hour power source that can be charged in the cart or swapped with a charged battery. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
4.Security and Accessibility
Medical carts must be kept on hand for emergencies yet secured to comply with FDA medical device safety regulations. Some carts come with computerized locking mechanisms to secure cart drawers against theft or dosing errors.
Because professionals use crash carts in teams, the functions of the cart should allow for simultaneous use to save precious time in an emergency.
Crash carts provide the life-saving tools needed in an emergency medical situation. Their utility can be maximized by ensuring you get the right crash cart for your medical facility.
Learn more about how our custom cart and battery solutions can help improve your practice through our educational blog series. To talk with an experienced crash cart consultant, call us at (512) 756-7300 or send us a message via our online form.