Must Haves in Medical Equipment Carts
By The Altus Team
Published Oct 07, 2022
| Updated Mar 02, 2023
| 5 min read
Medical equipment carts must keep up with nurses, providers, and staff caring for patients. Quality medical carts are engineered to streamline workflows, increase staff productivity, and improve patient satisfaction.
The medical equipment carts chosen to be employed throughout a hospital affect more than this. Medical workstations should be designed with clinicians in mind, so they can attend to patients as efficiently as possible. This means any medical trolley that is brought into your hospital must have certain features to ensure it can manage the tasks required of the workstation, and still have everything staff needs for their shift.
Learn how to pick a medical cart that best meets your facility’s needs with this article from Altus.
1. Durable Materials
Medical carts must be able to handle the fast-paced nature of healthcare facilities. Nurses and providers bring their workstations from room to room and, in many cases, must do so quickly. Hen this happens, the hospital carts can sometimes bump into doors, furniture, or other heavy objects.
In order to handle these accidental collisions, and assist healthcare workers while they care for their patients, the medical equipment carts need to be made with heavy-duty materials such as die-cast aluminum.
When hospitals invest in medical equipment carts built to last, there is less need for repairs and replacements on them. Hospital staff also have confidence in their equipment and can redirect their energy to their patients.
2. Casters that Last
It’s common for medical carts to make their way down hospital hallways many times in one day. They’re rolling over various flooring, across thresholds, and starting and stopping abruptly.
In addition to a strong, stable cart body, medical carts need casters designed specifically for the high-intensity environment of hospitals and healthcare settings. There’s not a one-size-fits-all caster for medical carts.
Having the right type of caster on your medical equipment cart can mean the difference between a clinician effortlessly pushing their workstation across their floor while administering treatment, and exerting extra force and risking experiencing a musculoskeletal disorder. In addition, the better the casters fit the workstation’s needs, the longer the workstation will be able to offer assistance.
3. Security Features
Security and safety are significant considerations for every aspect of medicine. Medical carts are valuable assets, but they also carry medications and devices vulnerable to theft or misuse.
Maintaining security within your hospital –– and your medical carts –– is essential to keeping patients safe, reducing loss, and freeing your hospital and staff from liability issues.
One of the most important areas that security features are needed, is patient prescriptions. Medication errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Ensuring hospitals have effective medication management is crucial for any healthcare facility.
Choosing medical equipment carts that offer additional layers of security is a top priority for nurses and clinicians. Features such as an alarm when drawers are open for a certain time and personalized logins to unlock the medication can make a difference for hospital staff and leaves little to no room for error.
4. Reliable Onboard Power
Many medical carts carry powered equipment, like computers, monitors, scanners, monitoring devices, etc. Providers rely on a secure, stable power source for these devices to work correctly. That means you need a medical equipment cart with reliable onboard power.
When selecting medical carts for your healthcare facilities, determining how long the workstation needs to offer uninterrupted power is the first step. The healthcare carts should have enough power to last an entire shift. This keeps nurses from having to leave their patients alone and risks forgetting important information just to plug in their workstations.
By providing staff with carts and workstations with long-lasting power, patient care is improved.
5. Infection Control
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) affect nearly 1.7 million individuals in U.S. hospitals each year. These HAIs cost the healthcare system between $21 billion and $34 billion annually. Preventable infections cause significant financial loss and, even worse, the loss of human life.
Finding ways to decrease HAI numbers is essential to any healthcare facility. Choosing medical equipment carts that are manufactured to lower infection risks and can withstand even the toughest cleaning materials is a necessity for any nurse.
Medical carts built with microbial components are a continuously effective defense against infections because their protection can’t be washed away. Built-in infection control keeps hospitals safer, improving patient outcomes and reducing spend on preventable illnesses and damages.
6. Space Optimization
Square footage is a precious resource, especially within patient rooms. In many hospital rooms, there is little to no extra space for nurses to bring in bulky equipment. Instead, they look for compact workstations while not losing workspace.
Employing compact carts that can easily maneuver around tight spaces in a hospital room is imperative. Additionally, they should offer significant cart storage. Powered cart storage has extra space under the worksurface so there are no extra pieces of equipment.
Nurses also look for the ability to tailor their computer cart to fit their needs. This includes additional storage options for space optimization. Keeping the cart’s overall design to be as compact as possible, adding extra accessory options to the cart can fix any space problem. Choosing from various drawers, shelves, and baskets, any medical equipment cart can fit a nurse’s needs while staying small enough to fit into any patient room.
Finding a Medical Cart Provider You Can Trust
The medical equipment cart you choose affects both day-to-day and long-term operations for both the facility and hospital staff. Investing in workstations that not only meet basic requirements but also provide all the must-haves nurses look for is important. These features empower your team to provide optimal care and lead to increased patient satisfaction.
Altus boasts a comprehensive, versatile line of medical computer carts that meet all healthcare “must-haves.” Connect with our team to learn how our carts can transform the way healthcare is offered.