You can’t go anywhere in a hospital today without seeing several medical carts on wheels. Chances are the cart will have a battery system attached to it. Mobile cart batteries have vastly improved the quality of patient care at clinics throughout the world.
What Batteries Do Mobile Carts Carry?
Mobile carts carry rechargeable batteries or battery packs for use throughout the clinic or office.
Some older-style models have nickel cadmium or NiCad rechargeable batteries. Most facilities, however, no longer use NiCad due to the size, weight, and tendency to lose the ability to fully charge due to memory effect.
Most mobile cart batteries in hospitals today use lithium ion technology.
Why Are Lithium Ion Batteries Better?
Lithium ion batteries don’t suffer from memory effect. These power sources are lighter, smaller, and last much longer than NiCad batteries do.
Some hospitals have taken advantage of the newer LiFePO4 or lithium phosphate technology. Some tech-savvy mobile cart companies like Scott-Clark Medical have sell LiFePO4 made explicitly for mobile hospital carts.
Lithium phosphate allows even more miniaturization and provides more battery life than many lithium ion power supplies do.
A vital contribution to efficiencies of a healthcare operation that mobile cart batteries make concerns computer and the Electronic Health Records (EHR) mandate.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required all public and private healthcare operations to “adopt…demonstrate…meaningful use” of electronic medical records.
The term meaningful use refers to using digitized patient and healthcare records to:
- Help engage families and patients in care
- Improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare
- Improve care coordination among providers and public health entities
- Maintain the security and privacy of a person’s health information
The most efficient way to do data entering is to do so as the data is gathered. This may happen during a doctor examination, vital sign checks, or when performing a medical procedure.
Computers with the mobile cart batteries to power them are the only way to accomplish this efficiently.
Computers and Cart Batteries
Fast and immediate data entry combined with secure cloud computing and secure networks will help to ensure compliance with the EHR.
The best way to accomplish this is to bring computers and the energy necessary to power them, to the patient.
A doctor, nurse, or healthcare employee bring his or her computer cart to the patient, performs a task related to patient care, and immediately enter the task into the patient’s electronic record.
This not only streamlines data entry, but it also reduces the chance for errors. Doctors and nurses no longer need to rely on memory or notes, increasing the possibility of making an error.
Mobile carts with batteries ensure that the PC or laptop will have enough power to function throughout an 8- or 12- hour shift.
Mobile cart batteries let clinics bring equipment to the patient, saving time and placing less stress on the patient and healthcare workers.
Vital sign equipment and other battery-powered devices can be moved by cart to the patient, and the results immediately entered into the patient’s records.
This also allows doctors or others instant access to the data, allowing easier remote diagnosis and rapid implementation of any prescription or other changes in patient care the results might suggest.
Batteries on carts allow the use of many peripheral items needed in healthcare settings.
Carts with power sources can provide electricity to RFID devices, barcode scanners, electronic signature pads, and other peripherals.
Batteries allow the use of printers and document scanners on site rather than requiring the employee to go back to an office or workstation, print or scan something, and then return to the location where it is needed.
Mobile carts with batteries contribute to the overall effectiveness of hospital operations by saving time, reducing errors, and allowing nurses and doctors to spend more time with patients.