A healthcare environment requires highly trained staff and the latest in medical technology. Each day physicians gain more medical knowledge about the conditions that affect their patients and the treatments they use to help them.

Medical advancements are needed to enable medical professionals to perform their job to the best of their abilities. Medical supply carts are at the cutting edge of frontline patient care.

As with all sophisticated equipment, there are many aspects to consider when purchasing a mobile medical cart.

Versatility

The versatility of mobile carts is one feature that has seen them become a mainstream piece of equipment throughout a range of healthcare facilities. Owners can fit carts with medical devices that can be of benefit in multiple settings.

A crash cart will likely be of most benefit in a cardiac ward. Intensive care, neurology, oncology, and emergency departments will need equipment specific to their own needs. Carts can be fitted accordingly and kept in place on those wards.

When medical professionals are doing their daily rounds or responding to an emergency, the carts will be easily accessible.

By having the mobile carts easily accessible, physicians will improve response times to emergencies, increasing the chance of a successful outcome for the patient.

Secure Storage of Data

Patient confidentiality is a critical concern in the medical profession. Data is sensitive, and maintaining the trust of the public is paramount. Using a mobile computer cart minimizes the risk of staff compromising a patient’s information.

Notes being readily available at the end of a patient’s bed are open for anyone to read. Paper files kept in filing cabinets may be accessible by hospital staff who do not have the correct authorization to view the records. A user viewing information on a central computer may leave make the data visible to nearby onlookers.

By having a mobile cart available at the patient’s bedside, the medical professional can view the patient’s file at the point of care. The units can easily be turned 360- degrees, allowing the screen to be displayed while only that staff member can see it.

When the file is to be updated, the professional can enter the information directly onto the laptop. The user can then close the file and make it password protected; only those with the relevant permissions can access the data. These security measures minimize the risk of an unauthorized person seeing the information, but also of a staff member misplacing a file.

While this is important for keeping data safe, it is also a benefit for increasing the accuracy of data entry. An administrative member of staff is a second person entering information. They may find the physician’s handwriting challenging to read or simply make a mistake.

By only one person entering the data, there is more chance of it being correct. One person entry also means there is a clear record of who inputted the information should it need to be queried in the future.

Secure Storage of Materials and Pharmaceuticals

Physical equipment and pharmaceuticals need to be kept securely and only accessible to those with the correct credentials. Users can equip mobile carts with many different types of material using both the built-in sets of drawers and carry baskets on the sides.

Staff members can store less sensitive items such as hand wipes, masks, and gloves in the ample baskets on either side of the cart. They can carry enough for physicians and nurse staff when attending to patients. Users can then store more delicate materials such as anti-bacterial sprays, syringes, and medications in securely locked drawers.

Owners can make use of standard lock and key entry drawers, or the more advanced biometric locking systems with proximity scanners for opening can be employed. By utilizing proximity scanners, staff will only have access to a particular drawer if they have a key card programmed with that specific permission. This can be very useful if the nursing staff should have access to a drawer that stores syringes but not medications.

Human error is inevitable in any work environment. Should a drawer not be securely locked after use, then it will pop open to provide a visual cue that the user needs to do it again.

Accessing medications is only one aspect of ensuring pharmaceuticals are secure. After a user has opened a drawer, the medicine removed will need to have a transparent chain of accountability. Barcode scanners will electronically record the medication that the user has withdrawn from the cart, the physician who prescribed it, and the patient who received it.

Information is immediately uploaded to a central medication log and also to the patient’s file. The process is entirely transparent for record-keeping and auditing purposes.

Future-Proofing

Purchasing a cart today that can not be retrofitted with the most up to date technology in the future would be an expensive mistake. At Scott-Clark Medical, our carts use Flexible Mobile Cart Power Technology. Staying current means our batteries are already at the forefront of technological advances, and the units can be updated when required.

Our patented battery technology allows carts to be operational at all times, even during a power interruption to the premises. While one battery powers the mobile cart and its accessories, another battery is on the back of the wagon, being reenergized for use.

When the 10-12 hour charge on one battery is nearly used, the user can easily change the batteries over. Our hot-swap system lets the staff member do this in around 30 seconds. The unit never needs to be taken to a wall socket to charge, ensuring it can work continuously.

As the units endure heavy use daily, there will come a time when well-worn parts need replacing. Purchasing a completely new cart would be expensive and environmentally unfriendly. Our cart designs allow the fitting of individual components, making it cheaper to refit only those parts that are worn. Should a technological advance be made, the user can again replace only the applicable sections.

Patient Interaction

Many benefits can be appreciated just by looking at the design and its applications. A significant benefit comes from the opinions of medical professionals who are in contact with patients each day.

At Scott-Clark Medical, our carts come with a height adjustment feature for the mobile desk. Physicians use this feature to lower the LED screen to the level of their patients who may be in bed. Patients can now see their test results, scans, and X-rays.

Information can be displayed on-screen to help them understand their condition and appropriate treatment plans. More information can help the patient to have a better experience of their hospital attendance. While there must always be a professional distance between physician and patient, this closer interaction allows a feeling of trust and understanding.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a medical supply cart is often seen as a simple decision. The versatility and range of mobile cart features make them a crucial part of medical care today. This flexibility introduces a variety of choices that will suit one ward, whereas others will be better suited to a different type of cart.

For a professional assessment, please call Scott-Clark Medical today.

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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