In today’s world, it’s difficult to imagine working without computers. Although computers-on-wheels (COWs) have existed in some form since the 1950s, it wasn’t until the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that they became a standard fixture in healthcare facilities.
Over a decade later, years’ worth of data and information prove that computer carts are not merely beneficial for quality healthcare; they are necessary.
Learn why rolling medical carts are indispensable to face today’s caregiving challenges, how they improve patient care, and to what extent.
Increased Point-of-Care Effectiveness
In the past, part of the nursing staff’s routine involved visiting a patient, speaking with them, taking notes, then going to a nearby computer room to log in to patient data. Poor note-taking or distractions often led to data left out or entered inaccurately.
In extreme cases, personnel formed crowds and queues around the computer rooms, waiting for a machine to become available. This issue resulted in significant time lost.
With a mobile medical computer cart, staff members can enter data at the point-of-care without relying on note-taking, memory, and fixed wall-mounted computers.
All patient records, health data, and ancillary information can be accessed and updated while remaining in the same room, increasing the amount of time spent interacting with the patient and improving caregiving quality.
Taking the Office With You
With COWs and a wireless connection to the facility’s central database and the Internet, healthcare professionals no longer depend on fixed workstations and dedicated computer rooms.
Instead, they can take the office with them, bringing the computer from room-to-room, allowing them to consult and update electronic health records as needed, in real-time.
This flexibility is why COWs are also known under another name: the Workstation-on-Wheels (WOW).
Not only does it help staff members do their jobs more effectively, patients notice the difference. Studies on nursing activity demonstrate that increased interaction time between personnel and patients results in more satisfaction with the care they received.
COWs also increase patient confidentiality. Entering information and bringing up electronic medical records inside the patient’s room increases privacy and data security, as it keeps sensitive information out of shared offices.
High-quality mobile computer carts feature fully adjustable desk height, tray mechanisms, and other ergonomic features, reducing staff health issues and discomfort by half.
Quality carts also feature lockable caster wheels, allowing a staff member to lock a COW in place in a patient’s room, keeping it out of the way.
Not only is it a valuable feature for keeping the room tidy, but it also improves confidentiality. By orienting the cart in a specific direction and locking it in place, medical staff can ensure that only the right people can see sensitive information displayed on the screen.
Although not as small and portable as tablet computers, a tablet simply doesn’t offer the ergonomics or the battery life needed for the medical industry’s needs.
Touchscreen keyboards lack responsiveness, and two-handed typing is awkward at best, resulting in significantly slower and less accurate data entry (typing mistakes, misclicks, etc., are more frequent).
In contrast, mobile computer carts support laptops or CPU towers with full-size keyboards, as well as high-capacity, fast-charging hot-swappable battery packs, such as the FMCPT power system.
A quality power system keeps the computer and all other peripherals powered for the entire work shift.
Computers-on-wheels are one of the essential tools for quality caregiving in any healthcare facility. From nurses to laboratory technicians, all members of your personnel will appreciate the flexibility and effectiveness they offer compared to traditional fixed machines.
Scott-Clark Medical’s mission is to redefine the future of healthcare by providing medical professionals with the highest-quality mobile computer carts and power systems.
If you’re looking for new or refurbished COW solutions or need to retrofit your existing fleet with our patented FMCPT system, contact us for assistance.