Mobile carts have revolutionized the medical industry, especially as technology has improved to allow them to do more and be easier to move. As the electronic health record requirements for hospitals and clinics have increased, the requirements placed on medical carts have increased even more.
Mobile computing almost always requires battery systems in order for staff to use them for more than a few hours. However, workstations on wheels can theoretically just rely on laptop batteries, especially if staff will only use the laptop sporadically through their shift. Other types of carts can omit a battery pack, but doing so may hinder their usefulness.
Best Uses for Non-Powered Carts
Non-powered carts have a range of uses. Anesthesia carts and supply carts are commonly non-powered unless they include a computer or other electronics on board.
Medication carts can be non-powered and use a key locking system instead of a more modern electronic system. However, this makes it more difficult to monitor which staff accessed medications. Hospital management should only use this for basic medicines at low risk for theft or abuse.
Laptop carts can technically work without a cart battery, especially since staff can wheel them over to a wall outlet to plug in the laptop when the power gets low. This may be an option for laptop carts that only get used in brief spurts and rarely move more than a few feet from a wall.
Harnessing the Abilities of Powered Carts
When fully charged, lithium-ion Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT) battery systems provide power for up to 10 hours. This makes them ideal for mobile workstations, allowing staff to update records in real-time and access important lab results from patients’ rooms.
Powered carts can also include small scanners, printers, dual monitors, and other electronics. Even laptop carts benefit from having additional battery power available because laptop batteries weaken dramatically over time.
Although non-powered carts also have height adjustment options, they are more difficult for staff to alter. Powered carts make height adjustments easy, which increases the likelihood that they will adjust the height properly and reduce strain on their backs and shoulders.
Powered carts make it possible to secure a state-of-the-art medication dispensing system. With a full onboard power system, staff can use a barcode scanner combined with a password or key fob system to ensure that each patient receives the exact medication prescribed to them.
Making Purchasing Decisions
Cost considerations are one of the biggest obstacles for healthcare facilities trying to make the most of a limited budget. However, staff morale, patient experience, and safety are also essential.
Most times, a powered cart with hot swap batteries is well worth the cost. This power system’s flexibility makes it possible for busy nurses and technicians to keep up with their demanding work environment. Non-powered carts are only ideal for situations that don’t require computers or that only require the carts to be taken out for short periods of less than a few hours.
If you don’t need a full onboard power system for certain carts, Scott-Clark Medical also offers a small battery pack powered by standard C batteries. This is ideal for medication carts with electronic locking systems that don’t need a full computer system but still need a small power source.
Customized Workstations for Healthcare
Patient care is your top priority, and your team needs equipment that’s up to the challenge. Both powered and non-powered medical carts need top-of-the-line engineering and materials to stand up to challenging work environments.
Scott-Clark Medical makes highly customized point of care carts, mobile workstations, medication carts, anesthesia carts, and other essential carts for your medical facility. We have a huge range of peripheral options and power sources, plus keyboard and laptop trays, tool buckets, drawers, and much more to meet your storage needs.
We pride ourselves on our construction quality and offer generous warranties on our products, including our battery and power systems. Call us today at (512) 756-7300, so we can start designing your new fleet of carts.