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5 Trends in Electronic Medical Records & EMR Carts

Blog Post
5 minutes

Hospital EMR carts and mobile workstations are more than simply a computer on wheels. Innovative technology makes EMR carts crucial components of a high-performing hospital. Keeping up on EMR cart trends can help you implement the best fleet of workstations, and help improve current workflows.

This article discusses the top five trends in electronic medical records and EMR carts so you can stay up to date, and capitalize on these trends.

1. Changing EMR Software Requires Computer Cart Refresh

EMR software has become standard in hospital and healthcare settings. Patient data accuracy and staff efficiency rely on a streamlined EMR application. Your computer carts play a pivotal role in the execution of patient care through EMR charting.

Each mobile workstation must be able to support the EMR software’s capabilities your hospital has in place. For new EMR software, the systems may not work on computer carts from five or ten years ago.

Old carts inhibit EMR speed and team efficiency. You need workstations designed to handle the newest EMR software so clinicians and nurses can retrieve records, evaluate charts, and input patient data quickly and accurately. In order to get the most from new EMR software, a computer cart refresh is needed.

Updating the fleet of EMR carts ensures you’re providing teams with the tools needed to optimize EMR usage and deliver exceptional care. The refresh also gives your staff access to new features older may not have, including secure access to drawers, intelligent battery data, and added ergonomic features.

2. Addition of Technology Peripherals

Increasing screen sizes from 18 to 24 inches can improve staff performance up to 52 percent

Early adoption of EMRs often looked like hospitals utilizing existing computers to manage patient data and records. However, as EMRs have become the norm, healthcare teams have seen the immense benefit of using EMR carts for all patient record management.

These days, EMR carts go beyond mobile monitors –– though mobility remains essential for effective charting in the fast-paced environment of hospitals. Adding technology peripherals to EMR carts increases usability and functionality, improving the user experience and charting accuracy and efficiency.

When considering EMR carts for your facilities, start by evaluating nurses' and clinicians' needs. Then find which EMR cart providers can deliver the solutions and technology peripherals that meet your hospital’s unique demands. Each workstation should be optimized specifically for EMR charting and come with an intuitive design so all of your staff feels comfortable using it.

One of the most important technology peripherals to take into account, are monitors. According to recent research from the University of Utah, monitors measuring at least 24 inches with high screen resolution and contrast deliver optimal viewing for EMRs. High-res screens offer clear views, and the 24-inch screen provides ample space for nurses to quickly view and gather patient information.

The same study found that increasing screen sizes from 18 to 24 inches significantly improved staff performance, with some improvement increases reaching 52%.

The addition of technology peripherals, like optimized monitors, allows staff to more efficiently and accurately interact with EMRs to provide better patient care.

3. Support Whole-Body Ergonomics with EMR Carts

Hospital staff spend a significant portion of their time reviewing and managing patient charts. One study found that nurses spend roughly 25% of each shift charting and reviewing EMRs. Support of whole-body ergonomics with EMR carts is essential for staff committing a quarter of their time to charting.

Ensuring safe work environments in hospitals extends to EMR charting workstations. The right EMR carts provide whole-body ergonomics that allow your staff to maintain a neutral posture. The neutral posture causes minimal to no stress on the body. When a nurse charts, and sits or stands incorrectly, even for a short time, can strain the lower back and the body’s soft tissues. Over time, consistently poor posture can cause chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and in the worst cases cause staff to leave the medical field.

However, maintaining a neutral posture prevents MSDs and other chronic posture-related health problems. Mitigating these preventable issues is possible, even in a fast-paced hospital setting, by providing ergonomically designed EMR carts for your staff.

The chosen EMR cart for your hospitals should be height-adjustable and allow for staff to keep all items within comfortable reach. A properly designed cart prevents hunching, reaching, unnatural bending, or straining, all of which contribute to poor posture.

In addition to the health benefits of an ergonomically designed EMR cart, these workstations help your staff stay organized, ultimately enhancing productivity and performance.

Nurses spend 25 percent of each shift charting and reviewing EMRs

4. Integrating EMRs Systems into Telehealth Care

Telehealth platforms are critical for providing effective, whole-patient care. Integrating EMR systems with telehealth platforms empowers your hospital to provide remote care and improve clinical workflows.

Telehealth and EMR integration help provide quality patient care –– even when the patient can’t come to your facility. Investing in EMR carts built for telehealth utilization offers the following benefits:

  • Live interactive services
  • Service storage and forwarding
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Streamlined virtual care activities
  • Boosted collaboration

The real-time communication provided by telehealth services combined with the efficient design of EMR computer workstations helps hospitals like yours streamline workflows to provide better patient care.

5. EMR Cart Fleet Management

EMR carts promote safety, efficiency, accuracy, and speed in one package. As you consider various workstation options, familiarize yourself with EMR cart providers that offer fleet management technology.

Asset tracking allows you to know where your carts are at all times with clinical-level accuracy. Partnering with a workstation manufacturer that also offers asset tracking allows staff to save valuable time searching for lost or misplaced equipment, and even helps prevent equipment theft.

Fleet management software can save your hospital thousands of dollars –– or more –– each year.

Choosing the right EMR cart for your hospital’s needs is essential to getting the most out of the investment. The decision should be shaped by the availability and efficacy of the cart provider’s asset tracking solutions and EMR cart features.

Optimizing Care with Altus

Your EMR carts are an essential component of providing quality patient care. The chosen cart affects EMR accuracy, accessibility, staff workflows, and safety. Choosing the right EMR cart for your facilities doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Altus manufactures and delivers quality EMR carts designed with your staff in mind. Our EMR carts and workstations provide the solutions you need. 

Reach out to our team to learn how Altus EMR workstations can revolutionize care in your facilities.