When medical computer carts were first designed for and marketed to hospitals several years ago, many administrators realized the potential of this technology to streamline workflow and record keeping. They also expected that this efficiency would translate to improved patient care and safety. They were right. Mobile computer carts give nursing staff the ability to document medical history and other information from the patient’s bedside shortly after admission. More recently, features such as bar code readers have been added to medication carts. This technology makes dispensing medication and record keeping faster and it reduces the chance of human error.
This type of medical equipment has been around long enough for health care professionals to recognize their potential and their limitations. The present generation of medical equipment has been designed to address the needs and desires of health care professionals. Here is a short list of some of the recent developments in medical computer cart.
One medical computer cart may be used by people of widely varying heights throughout the workday. Some staff may prefer working from a seated position while others are happy standing. A portable workstation that can change height quickly and easily is ideal for these situations. Adjustable tilt keyboards allow for optimal ergonomics as well.
The advantage of mobility doesn’t count for much if a systems portable power source is inadequate or unreliable. A portable power source should supply enough Watt-hours to operate a portable computer for several hours. Ideally a portable power source should clearly indicate when it is running low. Having the choice of AC or DC recharging is an added bonus. There are, of course, tasks and situations where a robust portable power source is unnecessary. Features like a hospital grade cord reel for the AC power supply are a great convenience in these cases.
For many hospital computing tasks, basic laptops are the most cost effective computer for use with medical computer carts. Unfortunately, laptops are a popular target for thieves. Every 53 seconds someone somewhere has their laptop stolen. In a hospital environment, it’s especially important to guard against theft because computers are likely to contain confidential patient records. Many medical computer carts are designed with rugged physical security that essentially eliminates crimes of opportunity. Carts that house a CPU instead of a laptop can also include high security fasteners.
These are just some of the features that have been developed for medical computer carts. Healthcare is an evolving industry and you can expect mobile medical computer carts to evolve as well.
Mariann Judge is CEO of Hospital Mobility LLC, Provider of Medical Computer Carts, Secured Medical Cabinetry, Medical Workstations and a Variety of Other Medical Equipment.
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