Technology is having a significant impact in the world of healthcare. New and innovative solutions are improving patient care and increasing efficiency in the workplace. One such advancement is the introduction of mobile workstations throughout the healthcare industry. To understand the impact of these point of care computer carts, it’s essential to know how they’re being used.

Security

Although often referred to as computers on wheels, their flexibility makes them a tool that can be utilized in many scenarios. The upper part of the workstation carries the laptop, however, the lower part can be fitted with sets of drawers.

They help keep the workstation organized, as clearly marked sections can be used for bandages, stethoscopes, ID cards, stationery and medications.

The drawers may come with a standard key lock function, or they can be fitted with electronic locking mechanisms. Only authorized personnel carrying the correct card may open the compartments.

When opened, medications can be dispensed at the patient’s bedside. Should they be discharged, required prescriptions can be ordered from the cart directly to the pharmacy. The in-built barcode scanning facility ensures each transaction is recorded electronically for safety.

Efficiency

Healthcare professionals want to have everything they need when attending a patient. The proximity of medications, attachments on the cart to measure vital signs, and a laptop to look up results and scans, ensures wasted time is minimal.

After seeing one patient, the physician or nurse can wheel the cart with them to the next patient, knowing everything required will be there.

Record Keeping

Not only is it essential to have the information to hand when you need it, but the data must be correct. As staff have the computer with them, they can easily tap in their notes at the time of the visit.

This minimizes the chance of memory lapses or inaccurate uploading of information. When entered, the notes are attached instantly to the patient’s file, ensuring continuity and allowing instant access for other professionals.

Patient confidentiality is at the forefront of the medical profession. By adding electronic medical records directly on to a secure password-protected file reduces the risk of patient data being seen by others on the ward. In the interests of data protection, should a patient wish to see their records, they can quickly be brought up on the screen.

Building Relationships

The success of any patient-facing role can rest on a personal touch. While professional detachment is a requirement, human interaction is also vital. The mobile computer is height adjustable to help with patient interactions.

By lowering the screen to bed height, the physician can talk to the patient at the same level. The brightly lit LED screen can show data and graphics to help the patient understand their condition and become involved in their treatment plan.

Accessories

Not just medication carts and medical computers, the mobile point of care units can be fitted to attend to specific emergencies. Cardiac and anaesthetic devices can be added. The smooth-rolling casters ensure the cart can be quickly moved to a location, the easy-lock brakes then securing it in place.

By having different types of cart located at strategic points in healthcare facilities, responding medical staff will save time, and patient outcomes can be improved.

Infection Control

Focal points of contact, such as a nurses station can be a high-risk area for spreading infection. Nursing staff, physicians, physical therapists and other professionals all come into contact before going to their next patient. Only one person failing to follow infection control procedures can be a source of germs.

Mobile units carry their own soap, wipes, masks, and disinfectant sprays. Before attending a patient, a healthcare professional can follow rigorous procedures to sterilize the unit. Ensuring they are also clean will minimize the risk of infection to the patient.

Save Space

In a busy environment with many staff, every meter of space counts. A central bank of computers may take up most of a room. A wall-mounted medical computer can create a significant amount of extra space. Aside from improving workflow, the extra space reduces the risk of contact between those who are yet to disinfect after patient contact.

Health Benefits for Staff

Leaning over to write notes, sitting on the edge of a bed to engage with a patient and sitting down for too long while inputting data, can all take a toll on a busy professional. Neck and backache, cardiovascular risks from being stationary for long periods, and exhaustion from moving back and forward to find the right equipment, are all health and safety risks.

Mobile workstations can reduce the risk of all these issues. Lowering a seat and screen when talking to a patient, adjusting the screen to their height when they’re inputting notes, and standing for a period while entering notes, can all benefit the user.

Reliability

Any piece of equipment is only useful for as long as it is operational. At Scott-Clark Medical we use the latest technology to ensure our portable mobile computers are always working.

Our Flexible Mobile Power Cart Technology (FMPCT) allows the unit to charge one battery while another is in use.

When alerted by the visual display and audio beep, the user can use the Hot-Swap method to change the dying battery out for a charged one. Repeat the process as necessary, and our cart will carry on alongside you.

Last Word

There are many advantages to having workstations on wheels in healthcare institutions. Not only do they conform to rigorous health and safety standards, increase security, save space and improve workplace efficiency, but most importantly, they also contribute to patient care.

With a cart that can be accessorized for different areas of medicine, the healthcare environment can be made safer and improve the outcome for patients with a range of conditions. If you are looking to upgrade your fleet of carts, add to your fleet or customize your cart please contact us for more information on how we can help streamline your medical facility.

Steve is a former healthcare professional who writes about technological advancements in the industry, with a special interest in the geriatric demographic.
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