Mobile computing carts are essential equipment in any hospital or caregiving facility. They provide nursing staff, doctors, and other personnel convenient access to electronic health records and other patient data without compromising mobility.
However, not all computer carts are created equal. Many mobile computing carts are not designed to meet the stringent needs of a healthcare environment. Knowing the top factors to consider can help you make the best choice for your caregiving facility’s needs.
What is a Mobile Computing Cart?
A mobile computing cart is a computer workstation mounted on a wheeled cart, making it possible to move and relocate whenever needed. They are sometimes called Computer on Wheels (CoWs).
In healthcare environments, the primary purpose of the mobile computer cart is to provide nurses, doctors, and other medical staff with a way to use a computer directly at the point of care.
For instance, a mobile computer cart offers access to a computer anywhere in the facility, including the patient’s bedside. For example, a doctor can update patient data, check medical records, or access the hospital’s network without traveling back and forth between the patient’s room and a dedicated computer room with standard desktop or wall-mounted machines.
Although most computer carts can be configured and customized, medical computer carts are typically equipped with accessories and peripherals useful for healthcare applications. Examples include barcode scanners, multi-monitor setups, lockable medication drawers, computer peripherals (mouse, keyboard, etc.), sharps containers, and more.
Top 7 Factors to Consider for Medical Computer Carts
Computer carts must meet specific needs to be suitable for healthcare environments. Here are the top seven factors and specifications to ensure you choose the best medical carts for your facility:
Although virtually all mobile cart models can transport computing equipment, not all are suitable for clinics, hospitals, and their staff. Hospital COWs typically have unique, critical features that standard office or industrial carts may lack, such as rounded plastic corners, easy-grip handles, or height adjustment features.
Medical computer carts can be adapted to carry more than just computing equipment. A typical example is sensitive items, such as prescription medication or crash cart substances. The best way to prevent theft is to install lockable medication drawers equipped with mechanical or electronic locks.
The more staff moves computer carts around, the more the casters roll, collecting static electricity. On carts equipped with standard, non-shielded casters, static electricity may cause electrostatic discharges (ESD), potentially damaging or destroying electronic equipment. The best way to prevent ESD from damaging your equipment is for your medical computer to possess conductive, anti-static casters.
Healthcare environments are fast-paced, and medical carts are frequently subjected to rough handling and occasional impacts. Carts constructed from high-durability materials, such as stainless steel and aluminum, are better suited to meet the needs of a healthcare facility, as they will last longer and need fewer repairs.
Convenient Battery System
Modern mobile computer carts simply cannot function without onboard power. A highly flexible battery system, such as the Scott-Clark FMCPT system, has the features to keep your carts powered for as long as possible, as conveniently as possible. Examples include dual battery compartments, hot-swapping technology, and long-lasting battery chemistry.
Easy-to-read Power Indicators
Although the industry standard of battery indicators is percentage values indicating the amount of remaining power, they are unhelpful to medical personnel on tight schedules. Easy-to-read indicators like the SOCI II show full-color graphics and converts the amount of remaining power into hours and minutes.
All healthcare facilities must follow standard infection control measures per the CDC guidelines. Disinfection of all surfaces is critical, and computer carts are no exception. To prevent contaminants from spreading or remaining on carts, they must feature as few crevices or hard corners as possible, instead possessing smooth, rounded edges that are easy to disinfect.
Buy Mobile Computing Carts Online
If you’re looking for a quality mobile computing cart that meets the needs of healthcare professionals, look no further than Scott-Clark Medical. We offer a selection of standard point-of-care carts and a custom cart service, letting you find or build the ideal product for your needs.
We also offer retrofitting and refurbishing services, allowing you to augment and modernize your existing fleet of computer carts with our technologies, such as the FMCPT system. For more information, call us today at (512) 756-7300.