Medical Cart Mobile Power Systems
Medical Cart Mobile Power Systems
Medical cart mobile power systems are necessities in the hospital and healthcare environments. Medical cart mobile power systems allow hospital employees to move medical carts freely without worrying whether or not an outlet is nearby. It gives nurses greater accessibility, mobility, and freedom to deliver dependable and superior patient care. The United States Government has required hospitals to convert to a plan of meaningful use of Electronic Medical Records, EMR, by 2014, or face a reduction in reimbursements. Medical carts and mobile workstations transport the technologies that support EMR care for healthcare staff. Medical cart mobile power systems are the underlying strength behind this initiative. No matter how great the medical cart or mobile workstation, a powerless one is absolutely worthless to a nurse or doctor at the patient bedside.
Medical Cart Mobile Power System Benefits
When looking at medical cart mobile power systems three benefits stand out that you should look for:
- How the medical cart mobile power system integrates, enhances, or impedes your hospital’s workflow
- The short and long term maintainability of the medical cart mobile power system
- The backward and forward compatibility of the medical cart mobile power system
With the proper feature-set, a mobile power system can greatly improve hospital workflow and cart accessibility. In a cart exchange environment, carts are used for a set period of time and then exchanged for a new cart with fresh supplies and power. This would be an example of a nurse medication or workstation cart. This workflow supports the staff’s ability to charge a sealed lead acid or lithium ion type battery when it is not in use. Adequate PAR levels (PAR levels are boundary markers in inventory levels that signal replenishment is necessary) enable the staff to simply exchange a new cart when supplies or battery power levels are reached. Additional considerations for a charging mobile power supply system are: useful life time, charge time, weight, as well as environmental concerns.
In an environment with lower PAR levels and where 24/7 uptime is required, a swapping battery technology is advantageous. This workflow environment can be greatly enhanced by such technology. An inherit benefit is it allows cart users to simply swap out the batteries instead of having to plug the entire cart into the wall. This allows carts to be fully functional 24/7. In addition, some hospitals do not have the electrical infrastructure to support charging for all of their carts. Fire Marshalls regularly require fixed carts have designated charging stations outside of hallways; which requires valuable hospital space. Battery swap technology greatly increases hospital efficiency by ensuring that no space needs to be delegated to charge or store drained, unusable carts. A last potential benefit is that nurses avoid suffering from back problems that result from constant bending to plug/unplug power cords, which can lead to injury, absence from work and/or workman’s comp claims. These are all strong considerations for how your new medical cart mobile power systems will integrate, enhance, or potentially impede the workflow of your hospital. (Scroll down for for JCAHO link)
Medical Cart Mobile Power System Maintenance
The short and long term maintainability of your medical cart mobile power system is another but perhaps equal consideration. In a hospital environment where labor and space resources are vital, a modular technology such as the “Swappable Battery” makes sense. This technology allows users to recharge and change the batteries themselves, so there is no downtime for the cart when the battery is depleted and needs to be replaced. Anton/Bauer Vice President, MPS (Medical Power Systems division), Patrick Ney, reminds us that “ALL batteries need to be replaced at some point.” With a swappable battery system there are no additional costs associated with extra parts and labor when replacing the batteries. But maintaining medical cart mobile power systems in an environment where resources are available, may allow for a more conventional system. Many facilities utilize a “Preventative Maintenance” program to maintain their medical cart mobile power systems. Staff and space provide for a periodic or annual program that maintains and, many times, prolongs the life of the battery. This type of maintainability generally works for larger hospitals where the costs of available staff outweigh the costs of purchasing adequate medical cart workstation PAR levels (14-20%).
Last, but not least, is the backward and forward compatibility of the medical cart mobile power system. If you are purchasing new medical carts, medication workstations, or mobile nurse workstations, does the mobile power supply system they possess easily integrate with other existing cart populations? Healthcare facilities have many different types of carts and workstations throughout the facility. If they all use the same medical cart mobile power systems there will be continuity of care throughout that facility or group of facilities. Having continuity of care with your medical cart mobile power systems will reduce costs and indirectly increase overall patient care. Modular battery systems can sometimes adapt to existing carts in a facility that are not being replaced at the same time you are purchasing new carts. Having the same battery technology as your existing carts can make the new medication cart rollout and integration smooth and seamless. As Ney puts it, “Hospitals that spend thousands of dollars on power systems should evaluate the system’s ability to be adapted to future equipment. Hospital’s should invest in systems that have components that are either upgradable or adaptable to future technology requirements.” Here is a link from JCAHO with very important information about medical cart mobile power systems.
Medical mobile cart power systems are mission critical to patient care. Patient care will be directly affected by the success, failure, or subpar performance within the workflow systems of your hospital. Proactively vetting the short and long term maintainability of the mobile power system is prudent to your medical cart mobile workstation decision making process. Lastly consider existing workstation and medical cart populations. A medical cart mobile power system that is compatible with existing mobile carts or potential future workstation technology is advantageous. Always remember the fundamental basic considerations of up time, charge time, weight, and environment impact in the order that aligns with what your facility values best. With a dependable medical cart mobile power system you can be sure that your medical cart or workstation will be there for you.
For Your Medical Cart Solutions,
Tagg Neal / cartadvocate
More in-depth medical cart mobile power system information can be seen from my Sit Down Q&A Interview @ cartadvocate