A mobile computer cart depends on a reliable, integrated power source to function correctly. If the onboard power source is not reliable, long-lasting, or practical to use, it may be more of a hindrance to healthcare personnel than a helpful tool. Yet, many healthcare facilities on tight budgets cannot invest in newer or better-designed mobile carts, relying on their outdated fleet instead.
However, there are alternatives to replacing the entire fleet: Refurbishing, repowering, and retrofitting. These options allow you to extend the lifespan of your existing medical computer carts without the costly investment of a total fleet replacement.
Refurbishing Preserves Your Existing Carts’ Functionality
Although your facility’s mobile computer workstation may be older models, think of the features and advantages they do possess. Perhaps they are made using high-quality materials that would make no sense to replace now. Maybe they already have helpful ergonomic features, such as a height adjustment system or adjustable top plates.
Replacing your entire fleet with newer models may seem attractive at first, but it also means you cannot be sure if you’ll see the same durability or functionality. It is a considerable investment that does not guarantee your caregivers will find the same functions or settings they liked (or relied upon) in the old carts.
Observe what’s wrong with your existing mobile computer carts and determine whether they truly need to be replaced. If they are old, damaged, or worn out from years of use, all they may need is repairs.
If the power system is the source of most of your problems, you may benefit from repowering, which independently upgrades your power system without replacing the entire cart.
In addition, it is critical to consider the financial factor of your existing fleet. Perhaps your facility already has invested a significant amount of money into the current carts. Repairs, refurbishing, or retrofitting are typically much less expensive than replacement, making them a more cost-effective solution and allowing you to extend your current carts’ total cost of ownership (TCO).
Repowering Improves Efficiency And Flexibility
Repowering a fleet of workstations on wheels (WOWs) means replacing the existing onboard system with a newer, more efficient one. Most of the problems with older cart fleets can be traced back to a heavy, inconvenient, or inefficient power system.
For example, one of the most common battery types found in older-generation carts is sealed lead-acid (SLA). The principles behind an SLA power system are essentially comparable to those of a standard car battery; they are generally reliable and relatively long-lasting (8 to 10 hours on average).
However, these batteries require almost as much time to recharge as they can hold; in other words, if they have an 8-hour capacity, you can expect about 8 hours of recharge time. Additionally, their weight hinders the cart’s maneuverability (they start at 20-25 lbs.), and the underlying technology is old and unable to support hot-swapping.
Repowering your carts with modern, safe, and lightweight power systems, such as the FMCPT system, provides many long-term benefits and advantages to your old fleet of mobile workstations.
FMCPT batteries employ Lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4), one of the world’s safest and most efficient battery chemistries. An FMCPT battery weighs approximately 8 lbs., offers up to 9 hours of continuous power, and fully charges after less than 4 hours.
With SOCI II indicator systems, you can even give your old carts modern, full-color battery indicators. SOCI II indicators feature easy-to-read numbers and real time hour and minute values, which are more efficient and less ambiguous than percentages or bars.
Additionally, they support modern conveniences, such as hot-swapping (easy replacement of low batteries with fresh ones) and dual-battery systems, extending a single cart’s total available power well beyond the length of a 12-hour shift.
Continue Using What You Know
One of the most critical factors for your personnel is familiarity with their equipment.
Replacing the entire fleet means having to retrain them until they become used to the new gear, which can decrease their efficiency or the quality of their work for a while.
Additionally, brand new cart designs may also be unproven for your work environment and not adequately meet your facility’s needs. Even if they possess newer technologies and amenities, new equipment will disrupt your caregivers’ workflow for a while. Some personnel may never fully adapt or regain the efficiency they had with the old models.
Repowering and retrofitting your existing fleet is an ideal compromise between the familiarity of your old equipment and the benefits of newer gear. In a sense, it is comparable to updating a familiar application instead of buying the latest equivalents; you are more efficient with what you can already use well.
For instance, a newer, more efficient power system gives your existing workstations on wheels a new lease on life, making them lighter, easier to maneuver and allowing the onboard equipment such as a laptop and peripherals to remain powered for longer.
These advantages come without the potential hindrances and drawbacks of new and unfamiliar equipment. In other words, your personnel can continue using the cart’s other features and adjustment systems without changing the way they work.
Maintain Your Caregiving Efficiency With Scott-Clark Medical
At Scott-Clark Medical, we are more than just a mobile computer cart manufacturer; we are pioneers at the forefront of technological improvements. Our patented FMCPT system was designed explicitly to benefit both brand new and existing mobile cart fleets, allowing you to improve your power systems without investing in a whole new fleet.
For a quote or more information, call us today at (512) 756-7300.