A laptop cart on wheels is another name for a mobile medical cart or portable adjustable medication cart. They have many names due to their versatility and applications in many environments.

Their flexibility ensures they are valuable for many different healthcare professionals. Wards in hospitals have varying specialties, and again the adaptability of these carts allows them to provide essential functions across the clinical environment.

From using advanced technological features, to how the healthcare institutions implement the use of portable medical carts, there are many aspects to consider before purchasing a laptop cart on wheels.

Latest Technology

A mobile cart is only of benefit while it is in use. Users may need to charge standard batteries at a wall socket. While this is happening, the cart is immobile and not working for the benefit of the patient. At Scott-Clark Medical, we use our patented Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT) to keep carts mobile at all times.

FMCPT technology extends both the power and the life span of lithium-ion batteries. A single cell can power a mobile unit for 10-12 hours and only take 2½ hours to re-energize. While one battery provides the unit with power, another can charge while actually on the same cart.

Using our hot-swap system, the user can replace a fading battery with a fully-charged one in approximately 30 seconds. As there is no downtime for charging, the units increase staff efficiency.

The attributes of the carts ensure they are always in use. Eventually, owners will need to replace some well-worn parts, or another technological advancement may have occurred. At Scott-Clark Medical all our carts can be retrofitted so you do not have to replace your fleet.

Scott-Clark Medical can provide the latest equipment without replacing a whole unit. Retrofitting cuts down on expense and harm to the environment.

Staying Compliant

Physical safeguards need to be up-to-date in order to remain HIPAA compliant. At Scott-Clark Medical we can fit our carts with biometric locks, proximity scanners, and barcode readers. Data protection is vital, and all files can be password-protected, so only authorized personnel can view patient information.

Technical safeguards are in place, allowing the safe transmission of information by allowing access to the unit to only those carrying the correct ID card with the appropriate authorization.

Finally, staff must be responsible for ensuring they provide the correct training in the workplace, and they only give access to the cart to qualified colleagues, and it’s technology.

Infection Control

Safeguards are crucial in a clinical setting, and this is especially vital when it comes to infection control. Infections can spread quickly if a thorough infection control policy is not in place. In any central area where healthcare facilities keep computers, equipment, or patient files, there is an increased risk of infection transference. As rolling carts are standalone, they can easily be isolated and the risk minimized.

Hospitals should ensure that each mobile work station has its own infection control policy on-board. Before and after attending each patient, the user can utilize the disinfectants, gloves, masks, and other sterilizing materials that they can pack on the cart before taking it on to a ward.

The mobile laptop cart can easily be turned in a 360-degree motion, allowing access to each surface. The computer desk is retractable and can be thoroughly cleaned, along with the laptop computer it is holding.

The user can then carry out their personal hygiene protocols to be confident they are not spreading infection. The staff member can store those materials in biohazard containers fitted to the cart. The user can then dispose of these at a convenient time.

Patient Confidentiality

Data protection is the responsibility of the healthcare institution. Physicians keeping charts at the end of a bed, information being written on paper and then input into a computer by another party, and paper files being stored in easily accessible filing cabinets, all increase the risk of a data leak.

Having a mobile stand with a laptop table at the point of care can help the facility comply with HIPAA data protection regulations. A medical professional can access all information at the patient’s bedside, enter their notes directly on to the computer, and password-protect the file.

The information is securely stored and ready for access to the following user, who must enter their password before gaining access to the file. The accuracy of information is also increased. By having one professional enter the information on a laptop, a third party will not be reading off a paper file and then inputting the data on to a computer. Accuracy of information can influence the treatment plan a physician will choose, and so is vital for patient care.

Safety and Security

Data protection is not the only important aspect of security in a healthcare setting. Control of pharmaceuticals is of vital significance. Medications kept in a central area require an authorized professional to leave a patient’s bedside, collect the medicine, and then return to the patient. If they are doing this for several patients at a time, then the risk of an error occurring is raised.

A mobile medication cart enables the physician to prescribe and access the medication at the point of care. A standard lock and key combination can secure the drawers; users can opt for more advanced technology such as biometric locks and proximity scanners.

A barcode scanner records who a mediation has been prescribed to, who authorized it, and the time and date it happened. That information is automatically uploaded to a patient’s file, as well as a central medication log for transparency.

When closing the drawers, if not secured completely, they will automatically pop out to alert the user they need to lock them properly. By having an electronic log, staff members can see when they need to restock medications, ensuring there will be adequate amounts in the case of an emergency.

Response Time is Vital

Mobile carts are crucial when it comes to improving response times to an emergency. Staff can equip each cart with the medical tools the professional will need. As carts are very adaptable, users can fit them with different tools for contrasting needs.

Cardiac, anesthetic, or pediatric carts can all be individually fitted out with the tools for that ward. As the units are on smooth-rolling wheels, the user can swiftly roll them to the place of need, and the quick-lock brakes will secure them safely so treatment can commence.

Improving Patient Interaction

The benefits in a clinical setting extend to improving the interaction between healthcare professionals and their patients. The adjustable laptop cart can be adjusted by the professional to help inform a patient about their condition and educate them on possible courses of treatment. The laptop stand has a height adjustment feature, allowing the user to lower the laptop desk to the height of a patient’s bed.

The physician can sit at the same height as the patient, and they can both use the brightly lit LED screen to view test results and x-rays. As the laptops are internet-enabled, the user can bring up information that helps the patient to understand their conditions and their options going forward.

A good relationship between medical professionals and their patients can contribute to improved patient experience during their stay in the hospital. With potentially many different people caring for the patient during their treatment, a patient will feel more confident if they sense they too are engaged in their care.

Final Thoughts

Mobile laptop carts have firmly established themselves as part of modern healthcare facilities. They have many features that are continually evolving and adapting to the needs of patients. However, it is the way these features are being used by medical professionals that bring a significant benefit for both users and patients.

Scott-Clark Medical can offer professional advice on carts and their accessories for your healthcare setting. Contact us for more information and to request a demonstration.

Steve is a former healthcare professional who writes about technological advancements in the industry, with a special interest in the geriatric demographic.
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