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3 Considerations to Make Before Purchasing a Medical Computer Cart

By Team Altus
Published Jul 10, 2020 | Updated Sep 19, 2022 | 4 min read

When it comes to choosing your workstation on wheels, the choices can be overwhelming. With multiple different types, uses, and accessories it can be hard to comb through to find out what exactly your hospital needs. In this guide, we broke down what you need to look for and consider before you make your next workstation on wheels purchase that best suits your needs. Read on to learn more.

1. Design

Depending on what the workstation is being used for, there is a chance it will be in a facility where customers are around, and space is limited. Having a mobile medical computer cart that is built to fit into smaller areas or can easily be rolled to a corner when not in use is imperative.

In addition to the size of the workstation, the design, and layout of the med cart are just as big of an aspect to take into account. Before choosing a computer cart, clinicians should be confident it will fit into their workflow. Having all of their equipment in easy-to-reach storage locations, easy to move, and ergonomically designed are the biggest aspects clinicians look for in their workstations.

Additional mobile computer cart design features

Height-adjustable

For clinicians, proper positioning goes a long way. It has been found that changing your posture and/or your position regularly (sitting to standing) can help reduce fatigue and improve productivity. Choosing a medical workstation that is able to allow clinicians flexibility allows them to be more comfortable while offering patient care.

Power source

Technology needs power in order to operate. Battery powered computer carts allow clinicians to not have to worry about whether or not their computers will die mid-shift. Typical powered workstations feature a battery at the bottom of the cart that can last an entire 12-hour shift. Clinicians need to simply charge the cart by plugging it into a wall. These carts are designed to be similar in size to those without a battery, so clinicians don’t have to choose between reliable computer power and size.

2. Functionality

Before making a purchasing decision, make sure to talk to all users on what they expect and need from the point-of-care computer cart. For example, depending on your hospital’s technology, you may need a cart built to support laptops or LCD monitors. Computer workstations are built to enhance what your hospital already has to make the delivery of healthcare easier.

Desired functionality of the workstation goes past what technology your hospital currently has. It also means looking at what areas the cart will be in and what tasks it should aid clinicians in performing. Knowing what the exact function the cart will be used for is just as important as the cart’s design.

Computer workstation functionalities

Laptop and LCD carts

Laptop carts allow clinicians to seamlessly bring technology from room to room. These types of carts offer easy mobility all throughout a hospital. With both powered and non-powered laptop cart options, they function best in workflows where clinicians interact with patients and need to be able to quickly enter data into electronic health records (EHRs). Allowing clinicians to access the EHR lowers the chance of errors, so clinicians are able to move their full attention to their patients.

LCD carts are similar to laptop carts, only it has a monitor attached for viewing. These kinds of workstations, function best for clinicians that need flexibility. They not only offer flexibility with the height adjustability of other computer workstations, but the monitor offers an added layer of adjustments. The monitors are able to swivel back and forth, tilt up and down, and even have several inches of height adjustment. Medical PC carts work for clinicians who spend a lot of time with patients and inputting data into electronic medical records (EMRs). It allows them to quickly insert a note while still being able to improve the experience and level of care the patient receives since they can stay involved in the conversation.

Medication delivery

Some mobile workstations are built to serve a specific aspect of healthcare. To improve the medication delivery process, and help lower the number of medication-related errors, medication delivery carts work to make this process easier and more secure. They are built with locking drawers, and a user-friendly interface so clinicians are empowered to safely deliver medicine to their patients. Medication delivery carts are also made to be just as mobile as regular medical PC and laptop carts. So a clinician only has to make one trip to gather the floor’s medication, and then they can focus on correctly dispensing it, lowering the chances of medication delivery errors.

Telehealth

After the push from COVID-19, many hospitals are opting for mobile telemedicine carts. These tablet carts offer flexibility for clinicians to quickly and efficiently communicate with their patients even when they cannot be in person. For workflows that are getting overwhelmed by the number of patients, or those who need more flexibility, mobile telemedicine carts offer an answer. They can free up lines in the hospital as patients can stay home, offer rounding assistance, and translation services to better streamline operations.

3. Durability

It's likely clinicians will be using these workstations on wheels for many hours throughout the day. They need a computer cart that is able to work just as hard as they are. Before purchasing a computer cart, check to make sure it’s made of durable materials so the clinicians in your hospital can use them without worry.

The mobile medical computer carts that have worksurfaces manufactured from sturdy non-porous surfaces make them easy to clean. Added with if they’re made from aluminum, it allows them to be as durable as clinicians need.

Conclusion

After taking the three considerations above, you’re ready to purchase the right workstation on wheels for your hospital. The final step is to order the fleet you choose and to add any accessories. For help ordering the computer workstations for your hospital, or to try a free evaluation sample, contact Altus. We can help tailor a cart fleet to your individual hospital’s workflow.

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Altus wow cart with a battery.