Battery-powered medical carts create mobile workstations that improve efficiency for all healthcare providers. These specialized medical carts offer much more than a space for a battery-powered computer. Attachments and accessories expand the capabilities of mobile carts. Learning the many great uses for lithium-ion battery-powered mobile medical carts can greatly improve your facility’s workflow and productivity.
When purchasing a mobile medical cart, you can choose between different types of batteries and power sources. Batteries offer the portability and flexibility desired in a mobile workstation, but not every option works the same.
Offering a long life and fast charging times, lithium-ion cells are light and compact. The energy density of lithium batteries is high, allowing a single battery to power a mobile workstation for 6-10 hours. This offers a significant improvement over the nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries previously used. It’s possible to power a mobile workstation with a battery that weighs just a few pounds making the cart easier to maneuver.
Lithium-ion batteries maximize battery life while adding safety. Rechargeable batteries can be dangerous if overheated or overcharged. Battery chemistry can affect the safety and lifespan of the battery. Li-ion batteries using lithium iron phosphate are more stable than lithium cobalt batteries. Scott-Clark Medical exclusively uses lithium iron phosphate batteries for use in mobile hospital carts.
Electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries. This shows just how powerful and long-lasting they can be. Another benefit electric vehicles have brought to battery technology is advanced charging capabilities. Electric vehicle manufacturers have developed faster ways to deliver charges to lithium-ion cells to improve the marketability of their vehicles. This technology can be harnessed to provide advanced fast-charging batteries for use in the healthcare setting.
Electrifying the EHR
The ability to bring a computer into a patient room is one of the top reasons to use a mobile medical cart. Powerful lithium-ion batteries can power a computer to streamline data entry and reduce errors in the healthcare setting.
The discharge rate of mobile medical cart batteries is low enough to provide power for a full shift when starting at full charge. Nurses and other healthcare providers can greatly improve their cart efficiency when they know they have power that can last through their shift.
The healthcare team can maximize time with patients while maintaining critical compliance with documentation. EHR documentation takes physicians an average of 16 minutes per patient. When basic data gathering and routine documentation tasks are completed in front of the patient, the redundant task of entering the data after the patient visit is eliminated. This can reduce errors as well since physicians won’t be relying on memory or transcribing colleagues’ notes to provide accurate medical details.
Powering Helpful Peripherals
Lithium-ion batteries are powerful enough to power more than the computer on a mobile medical cart. When these batteries are used to power cart peripherals, it’s possible to greatly improve workflow efficiency.
The medical cart battery can power wristband printers, document scanners, and barcode scanners. This lets nurses and admission staff keep everything they need right at their fingertips. Staff will be happier with the improved workflow, saving them time and unnecessary walking during their shifts.
Barcode scanners are particularly helpful when combined with mobile workstations and medical carts. Nurses spend 33% less time on medication administration tasks when they can have a barcode scanner and computer located at the patient bedside.
Mobile carts reduce technology costs while increasing efficiency for nurses. The nurses save time logging in and out of multiple computers by simply bringing their workstations to each patient room.
Some departments may value having a magnetic card reader, electronic signature pads, and printers powered by their medical cart. The powerful lithium-ion battery system can let these peripherals work alongside the computer system creating a mobile office for staff members. Adjustable mobile carts can accommodate patients with disabilities and provide electronic signature pads without barriers that traditional desks can create.
Gathering Critical Vitals
Transform the standard medical cart into a diagnostic workhorse by powering vital sign equipment through flexible mobile cart power technology. Compatible vital signs devices can be attached to the cart and the patient for quick and easy data gathering. The long-lasting cart battery can handle powering these devices as long as necessary to gather important patient data.
Using cart-based vital signs devices keeps the important devices in one location. Staff will spend less time searching for each device they need. With the right rolls conveniently located on the mobile medical cart, staff can efficiently attach and record vitals for patients no matter where they are located.
Since the equipment is already hooked up to the mobile workstation, there is little time between the collection of vital signs and input into the EHR system. This supports faster diagnostic times while improving the relationship between providers and nurses.
Improving Patient Safety
A powered mobile medical cart with specialized accessories provides a robust patient care tool that helps improve patient safety. Providers and nurses will have access to patient information at their fingertips when providing care. This encourages the use of the EHR to validate orders and double-check patient details.
The use of barcode scanners has been shown to greatly increase patient safety and reduce medication errors. By providing nursing staff with a mobile medical cart equipped with a computer and barcode scanner, you add a layer of safety to patient care activities. The cart removes any barriers to using the system and increases compliance.
Mobile medical carts can reduce the spread of infection within hospitals. When staff can use a dedicated workstation for their entire shift, they prevent spreading potential pathogens on a shared workspace. Mobile computer carts can be made from microbe-resistant materials, such as aluminum and thermoplastic, further hindering the spread of pathogens within a healthcare facility. The carts are easily sanitized between users, enhancing infection prevention within the facility.
Swapping Batteries On the Go
A key benefit of all Scott-Clark Medical carts is the ability to swap batteries on the go without needing to power down the machine. Even the long-lasting lithium-ion charge can wear down when working a double shift or attending to a medical emergency. Hot swapping, a term used for swapping batteries while a device remains powered, lets the healthcare team continue to use their mobile workstation with minimal interruption.
The process of hot swapping requires an additional battery port on the medical cart. Simply insert a fully charged battery into the open slot, then remove the depleted battery. The workstation remains functional the entire time. Your team won’t have to search for a new mobile workstation or frantically search for a power supply whenever their charge gets low.
A backup power supply is still important for improving your medical cart efficiency. There may be times that spare batteries are unavailable for a hot swap. Staff may prefer to plug in and charge when they know they will be spending a significant amount of time in one place. A quality mobile medical cart will offer plug-in power as a backup to traditional battery power.
With the combination of hot swapping and plug-in backup power, electronic locks on mobile medical carts will always remain secure. You’ll be able to confidently store medications in locked drawers knowing that the powerful lithium-ion battery is supplying the lock with sufficient power to remain secure.
Improve Your Team’s Efficiency
Specialized mobile workstations offer numerous benefits to healthcare workers. When powered by a long-lasting light battery such as a lithium-ion battery, these stations transform into robust tools, increasing efficiency and improving patient care.
The Scott-Clark Medical team is a leading designer of custom and specialty medical carts. Our patented Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology System can help your team streamline their workflow and improve performance. We have options for all care settings and all workflows.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about how lithium-ion powered mobile medical carts can help your facility, call Scott-Clark Medical at (512) 756-7300 today.