The Ultimate Guide To Customizing Your Cart
By The Altus Team
Published Jan 29, 2021
| Updated Apr 28, 2023
| 5 min read
Every clinician’s needs are different. What they look for in their medical equipment, especially computer workstations, is determined by what tasks they have to perform and the specific patients they are to see that day. To make clinicians’ jobs easier, Altus made workstations on wheels easy to tailor to specific workflows a top priority. Several factors influence the workstation requirements from the clinicians themselves, to their environment, to the patients they serve.
Before purchasing any workstation, review this guide to customizing your computer car to ensure you have everything your hospital’s clinicians want and need.
Why customize your workstation?
Nurses must have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently—and the right workstation can significantly improve results on both fronts. When they’re able to combine the ergonomic features of mobile computer carts with customization, nurses are able to perform their tasks to a safer and higher degree. This in combination with customizing your hospital’s fleet of medical workstations elevates the equipment and level of care that can be offered.
Tailoring medical mobile carts can make the workstation feel more personal to each clinician since it has everything they could need in a shift. Altus has a full line of accessories and casters to transform any computer on wheels into a fully customized workstation.
Knowing where to start when tailoring your fleet of workstations to create a comfortable workstation that matches your clinician’s workflows can be a challenge. Keep reading as we go through each of the main aspects and how they can boost productivity, streamline workflows, and reduce fatigue. Including:
Maximize space with the right bins.
Nearly all nurses seek increased space in their workstations, and utilizing storage bins can provide a place to store all of their equipment. Altus offers bins in several shapes and sizes from containers to utility baskets to medication-specific holders and an array of other supplies.
To make the best use of space, workstation bins are typically mounted on the main column or the back of the work surface. These are ideal spots to store barcode holders, small printers, documents, and other task-related items.
Bins, like the ones from Altus, can declutter workstations, providing easy access to all the necessary equipment to deliver patient care. The best way to determine what bin fits your workflow best, refer to the size of items that will be going in them. For smaller items such as IV bags, blood pressure cuffs, barcode holder chargers, or other lightweight smaller items, a worksurface-mounted bin is the best solution. They keep the most used items within arm’s reach for any nurse. For larger items, the column-mounted bins from Altus provide ample space.
For any storage solution, bins are ready to assist. This approach also improves productivity, as clinicians won’t have to run back and forth for supplies.
Include storage and security with accessory drawers.
In medical settings, there can obviously be a host of sensitive products from costly supplies to medications and more. These belongings must remain safe and secure throughout each shift. One way to increase workstation security is to add an accessory drawer.
Choose from a single or double drawer which can be either column-mounted or work surface-mounted. We designed our drawers to slide easily without user constraint, making them ergonomically sound. The drawers also offer a more secure option to bins. Certain drawers can be locked, so important medications or documents are secured away.
Choose between the two main types of drawers:
- Column Mounted Drawers
- This set has options for single or double lockless and locking drawers. Its smooth, convenient, and adaptable design enables simple opening and closing.
- They offer space for supplies and medication and even offer bin dividers to easily organize the drawer contents.
- Each column-mounted drawer is built to be compatible with Altus’ powered workstations, such as the ClioAir.
- Work Surface Mounted Drawers
- Designed with ease and functionality, the work surface drawer optimizes the user experience.
- Nurses can store anything needed easily and each drawer comes with 2 bins for easy organization.
- They’re manufactured to work perfectly with any battery powered computer cart or non-powered workstation on wheels.
Each Altus drawer is built to be durable enough to withstand everything the cart does but also designed for nurses to enjoy looking at. Many of our drawers are designed with a modern platinum finish for added style to any workstation on wheels.
Consider shelves for workstation durability.
Shelves that attach to the bottom of any workstation on wheels offer an effective way to house printers, scanners, and other larger pieces of equipment a nurse may need without them being in the way. Shelves offer an adjustable option that is also easily installed. From multi-purpose shelves to CPU holders, they fit into each clinician’s optimal set-up. Clinicians have their pick between one or two shelves to add to their workstations, both of which come in a modern platinum finish.
Turn your workstation light as air with top-of-the-line casters.
The right casters can transform your workstation into a lightweight mobile unit. With the average nurse walking over 5 miles per shift, it’s vital to have equipment that doesn’t add more strain to the body.
In order to design the most mobile computer cart, Altus offers four distinct, heavy-duty types of casters. Each one makes the workstations truly ergonomic.
Rollerblade Casters: 100mm casters with easy mobility, functionality, and high-quality aesthetics. They are designed specifically for lighter non-powered carts.
Shrouded Casters: These casters are constructed of a glass-filled nylon body and a reliable wheel making them sleek and stylish. Shepherd casters are easy to operate, glide over both carpet and hard floors, and are extremely quiet, making them ideal for a sensitive healthcare environment.
Tente Heavy Duty Dual Wheel Casters: This is the floor-to-floor solution you’ve been looking for that easily maneuvers elevator thresholds. They are made from high-grade synthetic materials with non-marking precision ball bearings and a directional lock. A locking lever keeps the cart steady and immobile until activated by the user.
Runner casters: Best suited for an office or educational setting. It’s a lighter-duty caster with 50mm wheels and features two locking and two non-locking wheels keeping your cart firm in place.
Use power accessories to detangle your workstation.
Several clinicians embrace technology in their workstations from laptops to barcode scanners to printers and more. The increased use of these items means a larger number of cords. A string of cords can tangle and clutter your workstation, leading to inefficiency.
To fix that problem, add practical power accessories like a cable management system, cord tray organization, or a cord holder. With all cables off of the workstation and organization, it makes any maintenance easy since IT can determine what cords go where, and clinicians can work in peace.
In addition to the standard power accessories, there are also light options. Adding a USB-powered light to light up the workstation offers additional light nurses may not get elsewhere and is especially helpful for the nurses and clinicians that work evening or night rounds. A well-lit station helps mitigate errors and decrease eye strain.
Keep your barcode scanners safe and fully charged with a holder.
In recent years, barcode scanners have become a standard fixture on mobile computer carts. They streamline several processes and are used throughout a patient visit. Since they’re used so often, choosing the right holder and making sure it’s in the right spot for every clinician is imperative.
If your hospital has a wall-mounted workstation, choosing a holder that attaches to the track is the perfect way to keep the workstation compact. It doesn’t interfere with any part of the workstation, and since clinicians are next to the track while using the bedside wall-mount, it’s always within reach.
For any mobile computer cart, choosing between a swivel and an adjustable holder is the biggest barcode decision. Swivel barcode holders offer extra flexibility and a 180-degree radius. For a smooth transition, it can be used on most computer carts on wheels. The adjustable barcode holders attach behind the monitor and are always within reach. It can be used on nearly any workstation but requires a monitor as a permanent fixture on the cart.
Every hospital, department, and clinician has different needs. Selecting the right cart for your department is step one, and the next step is to customize that cart to best suit the daily needs of your staff and patients.
At Altus, we know that smart and ergonomic designs bolster productivity, improve workflow, and ultimately, provide a better patient experience. It’s our passion to create products that help clinicians do their jobs safely and effectively, and all of our accessories work to achieve that goal.
Contact us to take your healthcare workstation solutions to the next level.