The goal of any hospital or clinic is to provide their patients with excellent care. However, this requires a multifaceted approach; patient confidentiality, patient safety, the safety of staff and visitors, patient outcomes, emergency response times, and infection control.
A healthcare environment is extremely complex; it requires highly-trained staff and advanced technological equipment to meet the needs of patient care in today’s world.
Medical professionals who have to move to static equipment physically suffer from being inefficient and in some circumstances, potentially ineffective.
An emergency requires immediate assistance, and the physician needs all the patient data and the necessary medical equipment immediately. Stopping on the way to a patient or waiting for devices to be made available, could not only lead to patient harm but possibly death.
Improving Patient Care with New Technologies
Health environments are responsible for many aspects of patient care, not just the medical issues that are the reason or their admission. Patient data is sensitive, and under HIPAA regulations, a hospital must follow strict guidelines to ensure confidentiality.
Staff who do not have permission to read patient files and even visitors to a ward may have access to patient data if they are kept in paper records, or on charts at the end of a bed. Paper files are more likely to get lost than electronic documents, and a visitor could even carry them out of a hospital.
Laptop carts for healthcare professionals come with the ability to create password-protected electronic patient records, accessible only to those with the right credentials.
The nurse or physician attending the patient enters the information at the point of care; files will not be written at the bedside, and the data transferred to a computer at a different location.
Moving paper files from one place to another often involves multiple people and increases the risk of loss or an unauthorized person accessing the data.
Patient safety is also a concern for any healthcare facility. Medical professionals will encounter patients who suffer from a range of conditions, and sometimes patients need to be protected from their own behavior.
It is not only patients who physicians must be aware of, but they must also consider their concentration during what are often long and busy shifts. Prescribing the incorrect medication to a patient could have serious consequences.
A medical professional using mobile medical carts can significantly minimize these risks. Apart from securing data, mobile carts also offer secure storage for physical items such as pharmaceuticals and sharps.
For a physician to access a drawer on the medical cart, they must carry the correct ID card which is encoded with the right electronic permissions. The physician can only unlock the drawers when they are within a predefined distance. The advanced proximity scanners will recognize the permissions and allow access to the relevant drawers.
Should the physician be removing medication, they can first look up the patient’s file and confirm they have a condition that requires this medication and that another physician has not prescribed it recently.
Now that the physician is sure the prescription is valid, they can remove the medicine from the cart. Using a barcode wand to scan the medication, they create a note on the patient’s file, which is then instantly updated on the central records.
The note will record which physician prescribed the medicine, when they did it, and for which the patient received the drug. A physician can even add more information to the same record at the time using the onboard laptop.
Reasons for their decision and any discussions they had with colleagues before writing the prescription provide safeguards for the professionals themselves.
Physicians can dispose of sensitive materials such as sharps, or contaminated gowns and gloves in safe contamination bins already on the unit. When the containers become full, the user can easily wheel them to the main contamination waste area in the hospital and throw the waste away.
Versatility and Accessories
Users can adapt mobile workstations for use in a variety of clinical settings. Some examples of cart types a user can purchase are:
At Scott-Clark Medical, we can offer you a demonstration and consultation to determine the best cart for your needs. Our carts come with a range of accessories.
An owner can customize their carts for use in contrasting situations throughout their hospital. It may be that strategically placed units, equipped for specialist use, will save lives as well as improve the standard of patient care.
If a facility places a cart equipped for attending a cardiac emergency at the entrance to a cardiac ward, then a physician can swiftly attend to a patient, safe in the knowledge they have all the patient data, and the equipment to treat them, all in one place.
There are many speciality wards throughout a healthcare facility, and it is likely physicians can deliver better care if they have carts they have previously equipped with devices for specific scenarios.
The best medical cart workstation for your hospital or clinic depends on different factors. It may be that your needs require multiple carts, each one custom-designed to help in specific situations.
Medical facilities invest heavily in the recruitment and training of highly-skilled staff. A hospital should also invest in giving those staff state-of-the-art equipment to allow them to be as efficient and effective as possible.