Medical professionals often use the term “point of care” to describe the area and time when they are with a patient. The professional may be explaining test results, visiting during their daily rounds, or providing treatment in a medical emergency. When a professional is with their patient, that is the point of care.

What is Point of Care Technology?

PoC technology can be any technological device that assists the medical professional in delivering patient care. A nurse may use equipment to measure vital signs, or a physician may use a mobile medical cart to prescribe medication.

As equipment manufacturers strive to meet the needs of healthcare professionals in their clinical environments, technological advances become more complex. A mobile computer cart can now store all patient data in encrypted files, carry equipment to measure vital signs and hold devices a physician will use during an emergency in both general and emergency wards.

A user can custom fit their carts with a range of equipment so a physician can provide the most effective patient care.

The Importance of Point of Care Technology

Without PoC technology, medical professionals may have to go to several different locations to collect the information and materials they need to attend to their patient.

Each person is different; therefore, after visiting one patient, the professional may have to go once again and find what they need. Mobile medical carts give nurses and physicians the ability to pre-plan their visits.

The medical professionals can load their carts with all the materials they are likely to need on their ward rounds. The onboard computer stores all the information they need, without having to return to a central bank of computers to access individual files.

PoC Technology Facilitates Access to Electronic Medical Records

Without information from a patient’s medical file, a physician is unable to provide effective treatment. They cannot prescribe medication as they may adversely react with any allergies or other medications the patient may have.

Colleagues may have made important notes that are crucial for the patient’s outcome. Not only must the data be accessible at the PoC, but it must also be correct.

A physician can take the free-standing mobile cart directly to the patient’s bedside. They access the patient’s medical file, test results, scans, X-rays and other notes instantly.
Colleagues who have filled information at the point of care using the mobile cart computer, are more likely to have entered the information correctly.

While at the bedside, essential facts are fresh in a physician’s mind. The professional can enter it directly into a patient’s file. If they wrote the details into a paper file and then passed it to an administrator to add onto the computer, mistakes are more likely.

The file could go missing, or the administrator may have trouble reading the hand-written notes. Incorrect information could negatively affect a patient outcome, or lead a physician to choose an unsuitable treatment plan.

Enhance Patient Understanding with Mobile PoC Terminals

Physicians can use the features on a mobile medical cart to help patients understand more about their condition and the available treatment plans.

Not only does this help build trust with the patient by showing them the same information you have access to, but it can also make them feel part of the process. A patient should have a say in their treatment and not feel like they are being told what to do.

A physician can wheel the mobile laptop cart to their patient’s bedside, and use the height-adjustable feature to lower the computer screen to the same level as their bed.

Sitting at the same height, the physician can use the computer to access the patient’s file, show the results of lab tests and scans, and access the internet to display images and diagrams that may assist their explanations.

PoC Technologies Streamline Critical Activities

Many medical professionals are specialists in their fields of expertise. The equipment on one cart may be unsuitable for the needs of a range of professionals. Healthcare facilities can use their fleet of mobile medical carts to help these professionals perform efficiently by equipping each unit with custom equipment.

The flexibility of the cart allows professionals to accessorise their carts with medical supplies to be used in different situations across various specialities.

The Power System

Medical professionals can only make use of their mobile medical carts while they have sufficient power. At Scott-Clark, we use our patented Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT) to keep your cart on the move at all times.

The cart recharges the batteries even while it is in use. When one battery begins to run low on charge, the user can easily replace it with the battery which has been charging; the whole hot-swap process takes approximately 30 seconds.

As the user does not need a wall socket to charge the cart, they keep working even in the event of a power disruption in the building.

Final Thoughts

Medical professionals can use point of care carts in many scenarios. The user can accessorise each cart to meet the needs of their patients. Despite its wide range of uses, the cart battery system can power it for 10 hours, and even have a spare battery charging at the same time.

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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