Medical carts on wheels with drawers allow healthcare professionals to transport vital medical equipment to where it’s needed in a hospital or practice. Mobile medical storage and access to information can improve patient care outcomes and save time for other tasks, especially in the busy environment of a healthcare facility.
The Necessity of Mobile Carts
Mobile medical carts that use wheels on caster assemblies increase the efficiency of treating patients. Instead of placing carts at designated stations around a healthcare facility, the doctor can enter data into a mobile cart computer in front of the patient during the examination. This eliminates the need to leave the patient’s side to update their chart or refer to their medication and treatment plan notes.
This increases the accuracy of the information because the patient can verify the data. Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, so patient information must be entered correctly and updated quickly to prevent tragic accidents.
Types of Mobile Medical Carts
There are several different types of medical carts designed to fulfill different healthcare needs.
- Crash carts are emergency medical supply carts that carry advanced cardiac life support medications and equipment, such as epinephrine and defibrillators.
- Medication carts are designed to store various prescription drugs in specifically labeled and organized compartments. Common features include dosing boxes and locking systems. A medication cart may also have an onboard computer system to unlock the drawers, track usage, and verify correct dosages for patients according to their ID.
- Anesthesia carts are designed to support the anesthesiologist by storing everything from vital medications to oral and nasopharyngeal airways.
- Point of Care Carts are equipped with laptop or desktop computers, allowing the medical professional to access and update patient medical records, order tests, and show patients information related to their diagnosis and treatment. Carts that provide storage space for medical supplies and tools let you take the supplies you need wherever you need to be.
Why Medical Carts Need Wheels and Drawers
Medical carts benefit from the inclusion of wheels and drawers in several ways:
Hygiene on the go
The need to sanitize is paramount, especially due to COVID-19. Hospitals are host to all kinds of pathogens. Having a mobile medical cart to transport hand sanitizers and other cleaning products throughout the hospital can be beneficial.
You are no longer restricted to finding a wall-mounted sanitizing station when you can perform maintenance on the go.
Medication carts ensure you can always deliver the drugs patients need, regardless of where they’re located in the hospital, and support healthcare professionals during emergencies.
Caster assemblies should be durable, allow directional control, and dissipate static electricity to protect onboard computer systems and other electronics. It’s also important that the wheels are easy to clean and provide adequate traction on different types of flooring.
In healthcare settings, nurses and doctors often need access to medications and instruments that can be dangerous if improperly handled, and medical carts with drawers provide continuous availability.
Locking drawers are often necessary to prevent unauthorized personnel, including patients, from accessing the contents.
But security isn’t limited to locking drawers. Keeping information on a password-protected computer system rather than paper files protects patient confidentiality.
In addition to increasing the accuracy of data entry, mobile medical carts allow medical professionals to engage more effectively with the patient. Patient-doctor engagement is vital during the healthcare-delivery process. If the patient doesn’t understand the diagnosis or has lingering questions, they can be anxious.
A mobile medical cart allows the doctor to show the patient graphs, images, and articles when explaining the diagnosis, nature of the condition, and available treatment options.
In addition to increased data-entry accuracy, the use of a medical cart on wheels allows medical professionals to have access to up-to-date lab results and other patient information as soon as it becomes available.
In many hospitals, the patient-care facilities are in a different location from the labs, and other means of communicating this information can be slow. Mobility saves valuable time.
Mobility increases workplace efficiency by allowing healthcare providers and other staff members to perform various tasks in different locations without being limited to the location of either a computer system or medical supplies. You can simply take both with you, having them available at a moment’s notice.
Onboard power supply
For a medical cart to be effective at improving patient-care outcomes, regardless of whether it’s a storage cart or a crash cart, it should have its own onboard battery system. This allows you to take a laptop or desktop computer with you throughout the hospital and powers cart-specific security systems.
In addition to computer systems, the power supply also lets you power and charge peripheral electronic devices, such as wristband and label printers, and RFID and magnetic card readers. But keeping your own electronics charged isn’t the only advantage of having a mobile power supply.
Mobile power supply
Having one or two rechargeable batteries on your medical cart at all times provides you with the ability to recharge everything from your cell phone to medical tablets without the need for an electrical outlet. As a result, you’re free to move throughout the hospital — you’re not tethered to one location.
Electronic locking/access-control systems
Traditionally, medical cart drawers would lock with a conventional key. Ideally, the locking drawers should only be accessible to users who can enter a computer password, keypad code, or magnetic keycard. Every time someone accesses the contents of a medication cart, that person’s ID should be logged for future cross-referencing.
These systems, whether biometric or digital, require a power system. A battery that allows you to keep the security systems and computer running without interruption is preferable.
Explore Our Range of Custom Medical Carts
Depending on the model, many medical carts are designed to meet standardized requirements, but some hospitals need custom solutions for specific healthcare demands.
At Scott-Clark Medical, we manufacture various medical cart configurations to suit the individual needs of medical professionals in hospitals. For example, carts featuring large displays, remote-controlled cameras, vitals-monitoring equipment, and electronic signature pads are available on request.
We also offer a custom service for those situations and environments where individualized care options are needed. Give us a call at (512) 756-7300, and we’ll help you find the best mobile medical cart for your requirements.