For healthcare institutions and insurance companies, costs are continuously increasing around the country. Federal regulations are ever-changing and flexibility and adaptation are key factors of success.
In order to fulfill regulatory requirements and maintain compliance, the adoption of new technological framework has become an absolute necessity. This has driven up costs but in many ways has proven to be a sound investment for optimizing clinical workflow.
Since the Electronic Health Records (EHR) mandate of 2009 hospitals and technology specialists have worked closely to implement systems that would fulfill compliance. In some cases, healthcare organizations have adopted wall-mounted computers and tablets. However, the general consensus is that mobile workstations, or computer carts on wheels, have been noted for their ability to improve workflow requirements while simultaneously meeting federal regulations for electronic medical record keeping.
Healthcare facilities around the nation have benefited greatly from the ability to bring their workstations with them and access patient records all at the point of care. Here we will discuss five ways that computers on wheels not only improve patient-based care and streamline workflows but also fulfill requirements for EHR implementation.
1.Computers on Wheels Surpass Other Technology
While wall-mounted computers and tablet devices are certainly effective in their own ways, they lack in areas that computer carts on wheels make up for. For example, wall-mounted computers have limited ergonomic structure. In addition, handheld tablet devices lack sufficient battery power and software capabilities to keep up with the demand of streamlined healthcare workflow and electronic record-keeping mandates.
With distinction, computer carts on wheels are highly customizable and provide ergonomic flexibility for workers of all heights. They have the capacity to hold powerful and interchangeable batteries that can last an entire work shift and up to 12 hours.
The powerful combination of monitor and computer allows for access to even the most complex information technology infrastructure and large databases of patient records. The ability to transport the workstation between patient rooms allows for an unprecedented standard of clinical processes and improved one-on-one patient interaction.
2. Computers on Wheels Strengthen Patient Engagement
The standard of health care is drastically improved when patient engagement is a priority. When workstations were stationary and healthcare providers spent more time traveling back and forth from patient rooms to their computers, frequent patient engagement was not always an option.
Now, with the ability to transport their workstation and patient records between patient rooms, providers can not only share information and access medical data but record data in real-time. There is more time for one-on-one patient engagement and questions to be answered. Often times, as a result, this improves patient outcomes as well because they are more likely to follow given treatment protocols.
3. Computer Carts on Wheels Improve Patient Safety
The ability to reduce record-keeping mistakes and improve patient safety is just as important as improving workflow. Computer carts on wheels allow nurses to input data in real-time which almost completely eliminates the risk of error.
Errors in recordkeeping can be costly and sometimes dangerous putting patient safety on the line. In addition to having access to their workstation right at hand, the providers are less likely to be interrupted or pulled away from the task at hand.
Computer carts on wheels also improve risks for medication dispensing errors. Some mobile medical carts even come equipped with medication delivery systems. These systems are complete with scanning devices that use barcodes to track delivery from secure locations to patient bedsides. The reduced risk of medication dispensing errors drastically improves healthcare institution success.
4. Computer Carts on Wheels Reduce Cost
The Electronic Health Record mandate resulted in a number of obstacles for the country’s healthcare systems to face. The necessity of an all-inclusive point of care for providers became undeniable. The goal was to efficiently streamline workflow while allowing access to patient data and hospital interfaces on the spot.
This required substantial initial investments for hospitals and clinics around the country. This unique set of challenges also included maintaining patient flow and patient satisfaction.
While the initial investments and changes may have felt difficult and stressful, healthcare providers and their institutions, for the most part, agree that the changes and investments were worth it.
Today, providers have an ease-of-access to patient records and testing information, hospital databases such as lab results, and general points of care, all while bedside with patients. The time saved and improved workflow have definitely cut costs in the long run.
5. Computer Carts on Wheels Streamline Workflow
Opportunities to improve your clinical workflow solutions with medical carts have never been more accessible than today. In the past, it was common for providers to travel to and from their stationary workstation to patient rooms and make several trips like this throughout their shift.
The ability to record data in person while bedside with the patient has tremendously improved workflow and reduced the time spent travelling from patient room to workstation.
In addition to the accessibility of patient records, computer carts on wheels allow for access to lab and imaging results from other specialty areas of the building, which in turn allows the nurse or doctor to consult with the patient in real-time.
Mobile computer carts are almost completely customizable which includes secure storage spaces for medication and other supplies. This reduces the number of trips to storage closets and other areas of the building throughout the shift as well. All in all, computer carts on wheels provide several different ways to improve workflow and processes for care teams.
Bonus: Computer Carts on Wheels and Power Supply
While one initial struggle with computer carts on wheels was their lack of sufficient power supply, technologies have advanced in accordance with need. Today, hot swappable batteries provide the required amount of power to the cart with very little interruption to care.
Hot swappable batteries refer to battery packs that are interchangeable without having to turn off the computer systems. Typically, carts are equipped with two battery ports so one can be changed while the other continues to provide power. In addition, some carts can be plugged directly into a wall outlet to charge from room to room.
Initially, the changes and investments required into more efficient healthcare technology seemed to be overwhelming. After time and implementation computer carts on wheels have proven their effectiveness in not only streamlining workflow but achieving compliance with federal regulations as well. Contact Scott-Clark Medical today for all of your streamlined healthcare technology needs.