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Picking the Right Workstation for Your VA Hospital

By Team Altus
Published Aug 22, 2022 | Updated Nov 16, 2022 | 5 min read

Having access to the right equipment is essential for VA hospitals to care for the individuals who come through their doors. Thanks to new legislation, the VA medical system has access to increased funding to build their hospitals, including purchasing workstations on wheels and medical equipment carts.

With the new increase in funding, ensuring you’re using the new budget effectively and getting the equipment clinicians need is the top priority. Altus created this list to make picking the right medical computer carts for your VA hospital easy.

VA Funding and The Pact Act

For years, VA hospitals and those they serve have felt the strain of funding issues and a lack of resources. This is felt throughout the hospital, but the biggest area it’s felt is the strain staff feels with the equipment. Many VA hospitals have had to redirect resources to more immediate needs: patient equipment and medical devices. As a result, hospital equipment needs have been pushed to the wayside.

The government noticed the struggles VA hospitals were having and looked to relieve some of the strain. They passed the June 2022 FY 2023 MilCon-VA spending bill, also known as the Pact Act, which puts VA medical care in its own funding category. This means VA hospitals and care facilities receive more discretionary funding to better meet the needs of staff, facilities, and veterans.

The bill provides an increase of nearly $30 billion –– more than 10% of the previous budget ­­–– to VA systems, including veteran’s healthcare. This increase gives VA hospitals the resources to properly equip and build out medical centers with the equipment needed to care for our nation’s heroes.

Now that VA hospitals have access to more funding, they can choose the computer carts that are designed to improve efficiency, promote staff well-being, and influence positive patient experiences.

How to Choose a Workstation for Your VA Hospital

Quality mobile workstations can transform the way VA hospitals provide care. A VA medical center is a machine that relies on all parts to work efficiently and effectively. When clinicians are provided with the proper tools and equipment, they’re empowered to carry out their job duties to a higher degree. The better VA clinicians are able to perform their jobs, patients are able to have better outcomes and a higher level of satisfaction with the care they received.

The first step to having a fully optimized workflow and the highest level of patient satisfaction possible in VA hospitals is ensuring then new hospital carts fit into the workflows. The following factors are the most important aspects to factor in when deciding on a new computer workstation.

1. Durability

VA medical center staff know that every dollar counts. When building out your VA hospital’s equipment inventory, each medical cart and piece of equipment needs to last for years to come. Choosing medical carts that are engineered to be durable and to last years in the healthcare setting ensures VA hospitals have the equipment they can trust.

Before deciding on a workstation on wheels, check what materials the cart is made of. Carts that are constructed of aluminum frames, different caster options, and steel ensure they can handle traversing throughout a hospital. The more quality materials the computer cart is made of, the longer it will last in your VA hospital.

2. Mobility

Within a VA hospital or medical center, nurses are in charge of caring for the veterans that are on several different floors of the hospital. In order to efficiently help each of their patients, clinicians need workstations that are designed for mobility. The carts need to be mobile enough to accompany the clinicians in their day-to-day duties and handle changes in floor types and levels, and can easily fit around tight corners.

The more mobile and lightweight a computer on wheels is, the easier it is for clinicians to push it around the hospital. This in turn keeps them from feeling fatigued so they offer a more detailed level of care to all of their patients.

3. Compact

VA medical centers, like most hospitals, are built with efficient design in mind. That means rooms have just enough space for clinicians to care for patients. In order to ensure your staff has ample space to work, the medical carts chosen should be designed to have a compact footprint so they can easily glide into any room and leave more than enough working space. The smaller the footprint on the cart, the more space clinicians have to work so they can offer care at the bedside without having to move a computer cart out of the way.

4. Fits Individual Workflows

The workstations implemented in your VA hospital should fit the individual workflow needs of each department in the building. Needs vary, so having a medical cart designed to meet a variety of needs is essential.

Workstations come in a variety of options and can be tailored to fit any specific workflow need. Altus battery powered computer carts offer a complete solution to any workflow needs with their mobile nature, and ample worksurface designed for easy EHR charting.

There are workstations designed to fit into specific workflow needs as well. Some duties clinicians perform are more prone to error, so having a workstation designed for their specific workflow is needed to avoid pain points. For example, phlebotomists need a workstation that can carry all of their supplies while they collect blood samples. Additionally, nurses who are distributing medication need a workstation that has added security to ensure an added layer of safety when administering medication.

Providing doctors, nurses, and other staff with carts designed for their unique needs empowers them to fulfill their duties more effectively and promotes positive patient outcomes.

5. Ergonomics

While purchasing medical carts that meet the job-specific needs of your staff is important, their physical well-being cannot be ignored. Each workstation deployed in VA hospitals needs to be ergonomically designed and promote a comfortable and safe workspace.

Ergonomic workstations can eliminate preventable workplace injuries. With 73% of nursing professionals having experienced pain or discomfort in the past year, ergonomic workstations are a must to keep them from getting hurt on the job. Ergonomics in a medical PC cart goes beyond the safety of your clinicians. It also:

  • Increases productivity and efficiency

  • Leads to more accurate data entry and retrieval

  • A comfortable work environment

  • Improved ROI

Choosing Altus for Your Workstations

With the Pact Act having been passed, equipping VA hospitals with the best medical workstations for their unique needs is more attainable now than before. Altus offers a full line of powered and non-powered computer workstations to improve every workflow in VA hospitals. We’re focused on empowering your staff, so they can help our country’s veterans with the most detailed level of care possible.

Contact us to learn more about our offerings, and how they can fit into any VA hospital.

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