Mobile medical carts are now a familiar sight in many healthcare environments. The versatility and ease of use can assist medical professionals in their jobs while improving the workflow of the ward.

Institutions can introduce medical carts to various clinical settings. This flexibility is a crucial benefit to having one on the ward. However, the same adaptability means they are intricate pieces of equipment. When a healthcare institution is purchasing a mobile medical cart, they will need to consider many options before they make the correct choice.

Compliance

Healthcare professionals must ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations. Both staff and the equipment they use have specific standards they must meet before they have any contact with patients.

Physical safeguards are built-in on a Scott-Clark Medical mobile medical cart. Staff must have the correct card and authorizations to use the cart. Biometric locking systems, proximity scanners and barcode readers ensure only team members with the required clearances can use the equipment.

Each cart comes fitted with technical safeguards to protect patient data. As a hospital will only grant access to authorized personnel access to the cart, only those meant to see the information can access it.

Qualified staff can use the password protection features to lock the cart computer when not in use. The professional can send files using encryption technology to add a further layer of security to protect confidential information.

HIPAA regulations place a duty of care on healthcare institutions, ensuring only staff that have received professional training can use specific equipment. Any staff member accessing a mobile medical cart should have received the correct training and be able to operate the cart safely.

Minimize Risk of Infection Transference

Infection control is always a concern in any clinical setting. Many professionals come into contact with both patients and their colleagues at many times during the day.

A central area for having computers, equipment or medical files may increase the risk of spreading infections. Mobile medical carts can help to minimize this risk. A professional who has a cart with them will have access to patient information, the internet and equipment.

They can preload the unit with masks, gloves, gowns and disinfectant sprays and wipes. After use, the team member can safely store all dirty material in secure waste storage containers. The staff member can continue their shift, disposing of the content at the end of their ward round.

At Scott-Clark Medical, we can help reduce the risk of infection transference even further by coating our carts with an antimicrobial covering. Keeping the risk of infections traveling around a clinical setting is crucial, and our carts can contribute to improving hospital hygiene.

Accessories

Healthcare professionals utilize mobile medical carts in many scenarios. The needs of one ward can be completely different from the requirements of another. A healthcare institution can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a department by choosing the right accessories for their cart.

IVs, cardiac crash cart equipment, anesthesia medication, sharps and equipment to monitor vital signs can all attach to a unit. Users can strategically place the relevant cart within the ward that it will be used.

Whether on routine daily rounds or in the event of an emergency, professionals can react more quickly to the situation. The ability of a physician to reach a patient soon, and have the right devices to hand, maybe the difference between a positive outcome or a negative one.

Confidentiality

A healthcare institution is responsible for the security of its patient’s confidential data. A central area for computers may be accessible to many members of staff. Staff members should not assume that all colleagues have the same level of clearance, and some may be seeing data they should not be able to access.

An authorized and trained member of staff using a mobile computer cart can take steps to protect their patients’ data. A user can only access confidential data if they have the correct passwords.

The proximity scanners will only grant access if the staff member is carrying the correct card coded with their permissions. The biometric locks will allow access only after the staff member meets these conditions.

There are also more straightforward methods for protecting confidential data. The cart is mobile, not static, like a computer on a desk. A user can turn the cart until they are the only one able to see the screen. A physician or nurse then enters the information before closing the file and enabling the password protection system.

Safety and Transparency

Healthcare professionals limit access to pharmaceuticals, allowing only qualified staff to dispense or prescribe the drugs. Team members can utilize the safety features of a mobile medical cart to keep access limited and also to keep transparent records.

Should a staff member wish to dispense medication on a ward, they can use their card, coded with the correct permissions to open the securely locked drawers where they keep the medicine. When the physician removes the drug, they can use the barcode scanners to record the transaction.

Staff who have received training to handle medications generate a record showing which medication they prescribed, which patient they gave it to, and when the transaction occurred.

A staff member using this system is generating an electronic record that protects their patient, minimizing the risk of another physician prescribing the same medication. They are also protecting themselves; they can use the recording as evidence they gave the correct medication at the right time.

Future-Proofing

A cart needs to keep up with medical advances. As physicians find out more about the conditions affecting their patients and the treatments they use, technology is required to keep pace. Manufacturers develop new equipment, and users need to keep their hardware and software at the cutting edge.

At Scott-Clark Medical, our carts are future-proofed. We use Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT). Our battery lifespan is approximately five times as long as standard batteries, has a running time of 10-12 hours and a charging time of around 2 hours.

Owners can retrofit our carts with new equipment, not only for a need to replace well-worn parts but also when new technological advancements occur. A user can upgrade their existing carts as and when required. This approach is cheaper, and an owner will not need to replace their whole fleet. This method of replacement is also kinder to the environment.

Final Thoughts

Healthcare professionals use mobile medical carts in many clinical settings. They make a significant contribution to areas such as data protection, infection control and emergency response times. Please contact Scott-Clark Medical today to arrange 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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