Healthcare is increasingly becoming more expensive for patients as well as insurance companies. Running a healthcare facility is also becoming more costly due to recent changes in legislation. Tighter regulations are being imposed on hospitals and changes are taking place at an unprecedented rate. IT managers in hospitals are investing in equipment and infrastructure which will result in cost reductions and enhance patient outcomes.
One such investment is in the area of mobile laboratory carts and industrial workstations. Ever since the FDA published the electronic health records (EHR) mandate, IT departments in hospitals have implemented various solutions to meet the requirements set out by the regulation. Many hospitals have opted for tablets and wall-mounted computers, but mobile laboratory carts and industrial workstations seem to be a more cost-effective, user-friendly, and flexible option for improving care delivered to patients.
What Are Mobile Carts?
Mobile carts are portable computer stations which can be transported easily around the hospital and between patients. They help in optimizing the productivity of front-line nurses and physicians and in facilitating the flow of work. Moreover, they decrease the possibility of errors in patient documentation and control the spread of infection.
Different Roles of Mobile Carts in Healthcare
Since 2014, both private and state healthcare providers have been directed to adopt electronic medical records. Therefore, over 60% of office-based health practices and 95% of hospitals have started going paperless and using electronic records in their daily operations.
Primarily, mobile carts are a substitute for the desktop, stationary workstations which are used in most sectors, including healthcare. Nurses use these workstations for documenting patient details with 25-50% of their time spent in noting patient’s health status and interactions. Physicians use these workstations to view patients’ records such as their medical history and results from medical tests like CAT scans and x-rays.
In this regard, mobile workstations are greatly beneficial because nurses and doctors can make real-time changes to the patient’s records without having to return to their desks between patients and then update the information. Mobile carts are also an important tool for infection control and prevention. Infection outbreaks.
if left uncontrolled, can wreak havoc in hospitals as both patients and healthcare staff fall sick rapidly. Mobile carts can restrict the spread of germs as they can be paired with hardware equipment produced with anti-microbial coatings. On the other hand, stationary workstations can be used by different people in the employee’s absence resulting in the spread of germs.
Mobile carts also improve patients’ experience and engagement throughout their healthcare journey. It’s quite obvious that an engaged patient will be more motivated to follow the advice of the healthcare practitioner which will culminate in enhanced patient outcomes. Moreover, engaged patients are also more likely to return to a hospital where they underwent a pleasant experience.
Previously, paper records were rarely shared with patients and were usually updated in their absence. However, with mobile carts, nurses can update the records in front of the patient and let them witness their results. This can provide the patient with peace of mind and give them the opportunity to answer any additional questions.
Mobile carts are one of the most innovative tools introduced in recent times in the healthcare industry. Due to their versatility, the future looks bright for them, and they will continue to dominate even more hospitals and medical practices.