Battery-powered computer carts are a familiar sight in clinical environments. Physicians, nurses and other medical professionals can use the many features to improve the standard of patient care in a variety of ways.

A cart needs power to be useful. Older carts typically needed to be plugged into a wall socket while charging. When charging the cart could not be used, potentially reducing the efficiency of a health professional during their shift.

At Scott-Clark Medical, we use our patent Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT) to produce carts that can be charged on the move as well as hold a longer charge than a standard battery.

How Does it Work?

Our FMCPT technology is a power system for mobile computing devices. It allows a user to run a cart continuously throughout their shift without needing to stop. Our system uses Life PO4 batteries, allowing the user to charge them on a cart, and swap them easily without cutting the power.

When a battery is running low on charge, there will be a visual warning displayed on the cart and an audio beep to alert the user. Medical professionals can use our hot-swap batteries to remove one and replace it with another easily. Our batteries weigh only 8 pounds, and the process of swapping one battery for another takes only around 30 seconds.

FMCPT batteries contain 330 watts of usable power, and the chemistry in LiFePO4 batteries enables a long life span, each battery often lasting for between 7 and 10 years. At Scott-Clark Medical, we also give you a five-year full warranty for peace of mind. Our battery warranty and long life span are better for the environment and your budget.

What Features does the Cart Have?

The batteries are needed to power the cart’s features which are easily integrated into our mobile workstations. A user can custom design their cart, and functions can range from laptop computers to dual-screens, equipment to monitor vital signs, electronic locking systems and even crash cart equipment.

Each feature is standalone; users can operate them and replace them independently of the carts other features. We can also retrofit our carts. When technology progresses, and new devices add value to a cart’s usefulness, then we can replace any part with the new systems.

Biometric Locking and Proximity Scanners

A medical professional can order a cart with a standard lock and key system. However, there are more advanced systems available, and a popular option is our biometric locking system. The drawers are securely locked, preventing access from patients and unauthorized staff.

Hospitals can give an encoded key card to members of staff they have authorized to access the cart. The user may have stored controlled substances such as pharmaceuticals in a cart drawer. Only those with the correct training should handle hazardous materials, such as blood-stained gowns or contaminated cleaning wipes.

A user with the relevant encoded card must be present to unlock the drawers. Proximity scanners detect the card and grant access accordingly. Should a member of staff without the proper authorizations try to access the cart, or even a patient attempting to open a drawer, the security system will not allow this to happen.

Secure safeguards such as these features allow a user to work without having to remember to lock a standard drawer with a key. The cart’s more advanced biometric system even alerts a user if they haven’t closed a drawer tightly; the drawer pops out to a noticeable degree so the user can close it properly.

Safeguarding of Records

Every healthcare facility has a duty of care to their patients. Ensuring patient information is kept confidential is an essential part of their professional responsibilities. Mobile computer carts can help professionals to meet HIPAA requirements concerning data security. Professionals can access patient data at the point of care.

Physicians and nurses do not need to obtain information from a computer which is in an area occupied by many different professionals; increasingly the chance of unauthorized personnel seeing confidential information. Standalone mobile carts can be wheeled to the patient’s bedside and rotated, so the computer screen is only visible to themselves and their patient.

Once the medical professional has entered the data, the professional can automatically store it in the patient’s file. Data is encrypted and password protected for security, and only those with permission can gain access. As the information is entered at source and stored immediately, there is less chance of a clerical error.

Improving Hospital Workflow

Hospitals are typically hectic environments, staffed by many professionals. Healthcare facilities that store computers, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals in central areas increase the footfall in those spaces. Professionals may have to queue to get medicines, patient data or essential hygiene equipment such as gloves and masks.

Professionals having to delay assessment or treatment time with patients due to central areas being busy, are unable to use their time efficiently. A professional who can take a mobile medical cart at the beginning of their shift, may not need to return to an overpopulated part of the hospital until they are returning their unit.

A physician or nurse can access all patient data on the computer, retrieve safety kit such as gloves from one of the drawers on the cart, and use their encoded key cards to withdraw medicines when necessary. The cart’s extended use time of around 8-10 hours allows the user to work throughout their shift, changing the battery overusing the hot-swap system when required.

In Conclusion

Battery-powered computer carts can bring significant benefits to a hospital ward. Improving workflow while keeping materials secure, helping to maintain patient confidentiality and being able to work for as long as is required, are just some of the advantages of having a mobile cart in a clinical setting.

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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