Share The Future of Mobile Workstations for Healthcare - 10 TrendsBy Team Altus | Published Aug 10, 2020 | 6 MIN READ Mobile workstations exist so providers can more easily and efficiently serve patients. With the end goal being a higher level of patient care, the mobile workstation industry is constantly evolving to better serve healthcare workers so they, in turn, can better serve their patients. A few years ago, mobile workstations were revolutionary—and for good reason. But now there are new developments on the horizon as companies adapt mobile workstations to be more useful for the healthcare industry. Below are 10 trends that you can expect to see in the future of mobile workstations for healthcare. 1. Powered Carts Mobile workstations in a healthcare setting are a given. In nearly every hospital and in most clinics and offices, you’ll find mobile carts where nurses and providers keep computers, paperwork, medicines, and more. And an increasingly popular characteristic of mobile carts is their ability to power the equipment they carry. Many mobile workstations have rechargeable batteries which allow for computers and other equipment to function without having to be plugged into a wall. This is not only convenient but allows providers to continue using their equipment even if the power goes out if their clinic or office doesn’t have a generator. 2. State-of-Charge Indicators With the increased use of powered carts in the healthcare industry, so has risen the popularity and variation of state-of-charge indicators for cart batteries. Many facilities utilize off-site monitoring of their mobile workstations—including battery status. While a universal monitoring system is good for many reasons, the provider needs to have hands-on access to determine when a battery needs recharging on their workstation. State-of-charge indicators present an estimated time remaining in the battery’s life and also ensures the total working condition of the battery. 3. Protection against Splashes and Dirt Medical facilities can be messy; any healthcare worker can attest to that. And when you’re working with valuable medical equipment, you want to take every precaution to ensure you’re protecting it from spills or splashes. Companies like Cybernet are innovating with liquid, dirt, and dust resistant monitors, which make mobile workstations even more practical and durable in healthcare settings. With this kind of workstation tech, providers can focus on better caring for patients without worrying about their equipment malfunctioning because of spills or splashes. 4. UV Disinfectant Healthcare facilities and hospitals, specifically, are at risk for cross-contamination of germs and disease, especially when mobile carts and workstations are being carted from one room to the next. One way we’re seeing the industry fight the spread of germs on mobile workstations is through the use of ultraviolet light. UV light technology is able to disinfect workstations that have had multiple hands on the trays and keyboards, providing a thorough clean that offers more complete removal of germs and contaminants than by simply wiping the equipment down. 5. Emphasis on Specialty Models Mobile workstations aren’t one-size-fits-all, and the industry is constantly evolving to meet the needs of healthcare providers looking for workstations created specifically for the tools and equipment they utilize in their practices and facilities. Mobile carts aren’t only for laptops or desktops. Specialty carts, like registration carts, are designed specifically to carry and support scanners, printers, signature pads—all of the equipment you’d usually find at a check-in station. Other mobile carts might hold not only a monitor but provide the proper support to utilize specific tools that a provider uses for his or her patients. 6. Advanced Communication Technologies Most healthcare facilities employ an entire fleet of mobile carts. These days, cloud-based software monitors the whereabouts, battery life, and even drawer access, plus important details relating to a facility’s carts. Unlike the carts of 10 or 15 years ago, today’s mobile workstations marry both practical mobile needs as well as technology so that carts are accounted for, no matter where they might be on a hospital floor. 7. Multiple MonitorsMobile workstations are being equipped for more than just a single laptop or screen for record-keeping. Many workstations are now created to support multiple monitors at one time while still preserving their ability to roll to the next location quickly and sturdily. We see a lot of double monitor mobile workstations in settings where telemedicine is becoming popular, so a doctor can visually see the patient while sharing their other monitor to explain test results, imaging, etc. It’s also becoming more popular in hospital settings where doctors meet with patients face to face. 8. Range of MotionThis might seem like a given, but the healthcare mobile cart industry is constantly adapting to make workstations and carts easier to move from point A to point B. In a 10-hour shift, a nurse can walk between 3 and 5 miles. Any way that a nurse, doctor, or anyone else pulling a mobile workstation around the floor can save energy is a plus. Electric—as opposed to manual—lift options, rotating keyboards and keyboard trays, and better wheel technology takes the physical strain off the healthcare worker and provides a better experience for the provider and, therefore, the patient.9. Bringing the Pharmacy to the Floor Mobile workstations aren’t only for note-taking and patient monitoring. Companies are innovating ways to both save time for healthcare workers and ensure a more safe and accurate distribution of medications with medication delivery workstations and carts. These workstations reduce errors and clinician fatigue by bringing all of the medications from the hospital pharmacy to the floor where they’ll be distributed. Utilizing secure locking systems, ergonomic design, and convenient, mobile storage, medication delivery workstations help healthcare workers put more time into patient care. 10. Monitor Flexibility When a doctor is meeting with a patient to explain scans or images, it’s important that everyone in the room has a clear view and can understand what the doctor is trying to explain. As test or scan results show up on the monitor of a mobile workstation, having the option to rotate the screen so the patient can clearly see is crucial. This ensures they can see as the doctor is going over the imaging, so neither doctor nor patient has to worry about huddling around a cart to get a good view of what’s being discussed.