Electronic Health Records (EHR) mandates have significantly improved the availability and accessibility of patient health data. Medical computer carts with batteries can travel with healthcare professionals so doctors and nurses can have patient health information at their fingertips where it matters most.
Medical Computer Carts in Use
This type of medical cart is essentially a computer on wheels. The mobile computer cart features a computing workstation with a laptop and often includes drawers to store common medical devices.
When healthcare professionals gather patient data, they can enter the information into the EHR on-the-spot, and the patient’s doctor has instant access.
Background of EHR
The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required public and private healthcare facilities to institute electronic patient records, partially in the hope of engaging patients in their healthcare.
Engagement in today’s information age means the ability to access, review, and discuss your own records and results. Many hospitals have included a patient portal to permit patients to access information related to their care.
There are no legal requirements for care facilities to permit patient access to their records. There are, however, some senators and congressmen who have strongly indicated the desire to legislate patients’ rights to access their own health records.
Most countries have laws or regulations that give patients the right to certain types of medical information related to their own care.
What to Expect in Laptop Carts
A great mobile medical cart can be used as a point of care cart and taken to patients’ bedsides. Flexible mobile computer carts should come with height adjustment capabilities and the same data management system that desktop computers in the facility use.
Because your computer cart is battery powered, it should come equipped with a long-lasting battery to ensure it remains in commission over multiple shifts. Hot Swap batteries are an excellent way to keep your mobile computer running all day, just like a wall mount computer.
Computer Cart Security
Keeping patient medical information accessible to practitioners increases the risk of data breaches. Medical computer carts should be closely monitored while in use and locked in a secure area at other times.
Likewise, if you make this data accessible through patient portals, you’ll have to take extra precautions to keep the records safe. Administrators can install secure firewalls and other IT security measures to keep patient portals from becoming entryways into the electronic health records system for all patients.
Staff Training Can Increase Medical Cart Efficacy
Staff training is clearly an important part of enhancing all work environments, but it can also be a determinant of how well medical workstations perform in your practice.
The EHR aggregates massive amounts of medical data, but it can only be used effectively if all the members of your staff know what certain comments mean. The doctors and nurses at a healthcare facility should only take notes in shorthand using abbreviations standard to that facility.
Standardized physician comments across hospitals can improve communication and help physicians understand the notes in a patient’s medical records, regardless of where the notes were recorded.
Because patient records are often recorded and accessed in the presence of the relevant patient through the help of medical carts, doctors and nurses should be careful to avoid noting or reading comments that are personally insulting. Physicians should also be careful to explain medical jargon to avoid misunderstandings.
Improve Patient Engagement
Medical carts have the capacity to improve patient engagement. Medical care professionals who spend less time waiting to access wall mount computers can spend more time providing quality care for patients.
Easy computer access also helps physicians schedule appointments and answer questions quickly so patients feel connected to the clinic and are encouraged to become more involved in their own care.
The Bottom Line
Medical computer carts are invaluable to healthcare providers and facilities and make it easy to enter and access EHR information. To provide the best patient experience and optimize the efficiency of your medical practice, invest in a high-quality medical cart with a reliable power source.
To learn more about what type of medical cart is best for your practice, hospital or clinic contact Scott-Clark Medical today at (512) 756-7300.