Hospitals and clinics frequently use point-of-care carts at patient bedsides to access and update medical records. As federal legislation has increased requirements for electronic medical records, facilities have found that writing things down by hand and then inputting them afterward is too time-consuming and prone to clerical error.
The exact type of computer and software varies depending on the type of medical facility and staff preferences. There is a variety of patient data management software available, and all of them are designed to run on a wide range of computers without any specific operating system requirements.
However, point-of-care carts and other computers on wheels must still be carefully designed to facilitate seamless patient care. A computer cart with a short battery life or a small monitor will be of limited use to busy nurses and physicians.
The Need for Battery Power
Computers require a reliable power source, whether that’s an internal battery or a wall outlet. Older computer carts used a 2 or 3 prong plug that could be connected to a wall. This made it harder to access electronic medical records on-the-go and interrupted the computer’s power source when staff members moved it between rooms.
Newer computer carts began using lead-acid batteries and other cheap, high-capacity batteries to allow fewer interruptions. However, these batteries were limited to just a few hours of use and caused significant disruptions when the battery pack needed changing.
Modern lithium-ion batteries provide power for a full shift or more and have easy-to-read displays, so you know their current battery level. These batteries provide a tremendous amount of power relative to their light weight and hold up for several years without losing much charging power. They can also be hot-swapped on the cart while the old battery is still in place, minimizing operational disruptions.
Monitor and Display Options
Cutting-edge computer technology makes the most of multiple monitors to display as much patient information as possible. This is helpful when discussing the outcome of X-ray and CT scans and when comparing before and after photos to explain complex injuries to patients.
Point-of-care carts may include one or two monitor mounts to allow additional displays. Scott-Clark Medical offers mounts that allow each monitor to be rotated and adjusted independently of the other for more comfortable use.
Although many medical records are now handled electronically in accordance with federal law, some patients may still prefer to receive paper copies of prescriptions, X-rays, and other information. Paper copies also make it easier for doctors to add notes and highlight key information patients need to pay attention to.
Printing documents for patients becomes much easier if your point-of-care cart includes a printer. This reduces delays caused by having to run to the nurses’ station or a common printer in the hallway.
Improving Patient Care
To provide the best patient engagement possible, healthcare facilities must also examine the tools provided to their staff. Mobile medical computers are at the cutting edge of patient information management, and investing in more accurate real-time data entry can make a massive difference for patients, doctors, and nurses alike.
Scott-Clark Medical strives to provide the best mobile medical equipment with a vast range of customizations available. We can install bins for office supplies and small medical equipment in addition to drawers, keyboard trays, and other essentials. Contact us at (512) 756-7300 to learn more about our custom-built mobile carts.