Patient care is at the heart of every hospital, and one increasingly popular method of enhancing the safety of patients is mobile carts.

Medication delivery is a crucial part of the prevention, management, and cure of a wide range of physical and mental conditions, and physicians can now administer medications at the patient bedside. With this advancement, medical staff can use mobile medication carts to improve patient safety in several ways.

Reduce Infection Transference

One of the most critical risks in any facility providing patients with medications is the possibility of a physician transferring a potentially life-threatening infection during medication administration.

Some hospitals have a central medication area where there may be many physicians waiting to receive prescriptions from a pharmacist. With so many people in the same space, the risk of infection passing from surfaces to one person then onto another increase. When those physicians then walk back to their separate patients, they can spread the viruses throughout the facility and to the person they are treating.

A mobile medication cart allows a physician to load their medications on to the unit before they begin their rounds. Before attending patient rooms or bedsides, they can follow a disinfection procedure to reduce the risk of infection transference.

Medication carts can carry wipes, sprays, gowns, gloves, masks, and other equipment the physician can use and then dispose of utilizing a biohazard container on the unit, helping to safeguard the patient. Performing these measures before and after each patient’s treatment can significantly reduce the chance of a patient catching an infection from their physician.

Medication Storage

Storing medication safely and securely is essential. Not only will it prevent the theft of powerful and potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals, but it also allows a physician to easily locate each item.

You can label medication drawers and have a daily review procedure, ensuring each drawer always has the requisite number of medicines, which could save lives in the event of a medical emergency.

For more routine daily events, having medication locked in secure drawers helps to keep your patients safe. As only qualified, trained, and vetted staff should have access to pharmaceuticals, you can give access codes only to those who are authorized to administer the medicines.

While a lock and key mechanism may be suitable, staff can lose keys, locking the medications away until they locate a spare set. A determined patient, such as a drug addict, could also break into this kind of locking system, causing harm to themselves and possibly others.

However, a more robust security option is a system with a biometric locking mechanism and a proximity scanning feature. Once an employee closes a drawer, the system will electronically keep it secure, until presented with a key code with the necessary imprinted access codes.

As the scanners require the card to be within a predetermined distance, the drawers will only open when authorized personnel are nearby.

Once open, the physician can remove medications and present them with a barcode scanner that will record the date and time of removal, the physician who prescribed the medicine, and which patient received the medication.

As patients may not be well enough to remember if a physician gave them medication, this is an effective safeguarding measure for them and hospital staff.

Should a patient ask for more medicine, physicians can see the record on their file, which the medication cart automatically generated upon prescription. This recording system reduces the chance of an overdose and the prescribing of medications, which may have contraindications with previously received drugs.

Last Word

Medication carts can be extremely useful for improving patient safety. Not only do they considerably reduce the risk of infection transference, but they also record what medications physicians prescribed, and when they did so, reducing the chance of overdose or receiving drugs which may cause a harmful interaction.

Call Scott-Clark Medical today on (512)-756-7300 for more information on our medical carts and how they can streamline your workflow and help keep your staff and patients safe.

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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