Mobile computer carts are an essential addition to any healthcare facility. The ease of use and convenience improve workflow and patient care. Although they are portable and save space, they come with an array of features that allow healthcare professionals to remain organized.
Being prepared for daily tasks is a requirement for peak efficiency to be achieved. The benefits of being ready in an emergency could save lives. The question is, how can such a neat piece of equipment allow for such flexibility?
The dimensions of a cart are small enough to save space compared to a conventional office desk. However, they are large enough to allow for a suitable amount of drawers to meet the needs of a healthcare environment.
Needs can range from the administrative requirements such as pens, pencils, stationery and ID cards, to the sensitive such as pharmaceuticals and syringes. Marking these drawers allows each member of staff to quickly and easily locate what they need.
Drawers can come fitted with standard key locks or more advanced biometric locks with proximity scanners which open when an authorized card is nearby.
Sensitive materials can be stored securely in the knowledge that patients can not gain access. Should a drawer not be fully locked, it will pop out to alert the user to secure it.
Rolling carts may come with specific accessories such as cardiac or anaesthesia equipment. In the event of an emergency, the mobile unit can be pushed on smooth moving casters.
Upon arrival, a simple brake lock secures the unit and the physicians can begin treatment immediately. The time this saves by having everything ready and easy to access is potentially life-saving.
Access to Information
Portable computer desks on wheels provide instant access to information in any area of the healthcare institution. Physicians and nurses no longer need to return to a central information area to locate patient details.
By having the cart at the bedside, results, scans and educational materials can be shown at the touch of a button. Should results not be available when the healthcare professional is on their way to a patient, the lab can still upload and send them while in transit. Not only is this excellent for efficiency, but it allows vital decisions to be made quickly.
Should a patient require further information before making a decision on their treatment, literature and images can be shown on the LED screen, speeding up the process.
A mobile portable computer rolling cart is only useful if it is in operation. Many carts need to be plugged into a wall charger when the battery dies. At Scott-Clark Medical, we use Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology (FMCPT).
Using FMCPT, batteries can be charged on the cart while another battery is in use. When one battery is running low, a visual display and an audio beep alerts the user, it is time to change over. Our Hot-Swap system allows a quick and easy battery swap on the ward.
The compact and rolling cart can be with the healthcare professional throughout their shift and passed on to the next user. As the cart has all the necessary equipment already stored, a quick hand-over can take place, and work is resumed.
Administrative errors can be simple to make. In a fast-paced healthcare environment, where multiple professionals can be involved in treating the same patient, the risk is increased.
A physician needs the correct information in order to make crucial decisions regarding treatment. By having a portable computer desk cart at the bedside, they can enter their notes directly into the computer. By doing it themselves they take away the need for another member of staff to try to read their handwriting and potentially make a mistake.
Administrative staff also benefit as they can check patient information is complete without having to spend additional time on handwritten files. Patient details can be stored in their online file with minimal risk of them being placed in the incorrect place. Confidentiality is improved as the data is stored on a password-protected computer. Files are not left on a desk where they can potentially be read by anyone.
Efficient Infection Control
All healthcare environments must conform to rigorous infection control procedures. The importance is such that the process can often be time-consuming. Moving from a patient to a sink, finding handwash and disinfectant can be inefficient. Not only that, but the equipment itself needs to be thoroughly cleaned before the next patient is seen.
By having a robust infection control system in place on the mobile cart, the time required to disinfect is reduced. Soap, hand wipes, disinfectant and face masks can all be securely stored on the unit. After treating one patient, the user can swiftly clean down the cart and disinfect themselves.
Medications can be Ordered Efficiently
Upon discharge, should a patient require medication, this can be ordered from the point of care. The physician can order directly through the computer on the cart, and the prescription is received by the pharmacy.
When the patient arrives to collect their medication, it can be ready and waiting for them. The pharmacy will benefit from not having a long queue of patients at their door. The patient will appreciate not having to wait as well.
For a healthcare institution to be efficient, it must be organized. Human error is inevitable in any workplace, but it can be minimized. With proper preparation, a cart can be equipped to cope with both everyday activities and emergencies.
By encouraging staff to follow correct procedures, the portable computer cart desk will keep equipment well organized and ready for the work ahead.