How Medical Computer Carts Can Improve Public Health Informatics? Jan 17, 2022

Public health informatics refers to the use and management of health information and health data, such as medical records. Mobile computer carts have not only changed the way data is managed in the healthcare industry; they have revolutionized modern patient care and improved the overall quality of care.

Learn why mobile medical carts are an essential part of modern healthcare and how they can improve the efficiency of care in your facility.

Improved workflow and care delivery efficiency

Health informatics is at the crossroads between healthcare and information technology. While the use of computers to simplify data management in healthcare facilities dates back to the 1990s (coinciding with the rise of the Internet), mobile computers on wheels are a relatively recent development.

In the past, computer-equipped facilities were limited to classic computer rooms, forcing staff to intentionally interrupt their traditional clinical workflow to use computers and update health records. Although they represent a significant milestone compared to previous approaches to paper records management, they are static and inflexible.

Mobile computer carts integrate real-time electronic health record management into existing workflows, delivering computers directly to caregivers, even when they are at the patient's bedside. Research shows that these tools increase the time nurses spend interacting with patients, which in turn increases patient engagement and satisfaction.

Advanced battery technology keeps computer carts running

The main disadvantage of non-mobile computerized healthcare systems is the lack of flexibility.

During busy shifts, staff typically spend more time navigating from room to room to input data than performing nursing tasks. In theory, the concept of a mobile computer cart with an on-board battery seems like the perfect solution to this problem.

However, the earliest models featured sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries, which used the same technology as car batteries. While these carts are nominally mobile, they are heavy, bulky, and take as long to charge as their autonomy (7-8 hours on average). These limitations make healthcare data management unnecessarily challenging, often taking half a shift to fully recharge.

Advances in battery technology have made mobile computer carts a viable and efficient tool in healthcare settings. Modern trolley batteries feature lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery chemistry, hot-swappable batteries, and fast charge times.

Computer carts are safer and more cost-effective

Modern medical computer carts help healthcare organizations save money and improve patient safety in two primary ways:

Costs associated with operating and maintaining a fleet of computers

Costs associated with data entry delays and errors

Reduce operating costs

Although their battery life is about 8 hours, the outdated SLA batteries used in the previous generation of mobile computer carts only last about ½ shift before they can be recharged.

In the past, medical institutions have tried to make up for this by simply using larger computer carts. However, this is an expensive and inefficient solution. Some hospitals have many units at their disposal; they reach the height of a cart and can fit two beds.

Each cart is equipped with equipment that must be maintained, updated and protected from theft. Large fleets of computer carts are not only inefficient, but also more expensive to manage.

Modern battery chemistries, such as LiFePO4, significantly reduce the time it takes to charge a battery. On average, LiFePO4 batteries only need 4 hours to recover from 1 hour remaining to 100%.

This advantage can be combined with dual battery modules and hot swapping to keep the trolley powered continuously, eliminating downtime and the need to use more machines to compensate for downtime. In turn, you'll spend less on equipment maintenance without losing workflow efficiency.

reduce errors

According to the latest statistics released in August 2021, medical malpractice kills approximately 100,000 patients each year and costs the industry more than $20 billion annually.

These numbers make it one of the leading causes of death in the United States, ahead of diabetes (87,647), kidney disease (51,565) and pneumonia (49,783).

Although the definition of medical error includes many types of events, such as an adverse reaction to a specific medical treatment, most of the financial costs associated with medical error are legal fees. Fighting malpractice lawsuits can be a significant source of financial waste for the average hospital.

Mobile computer carts with wheels help healthcare workers reduce errors in two ways. First, time spent transferring between patient and computer is eliminated. Second, by reducing the risk of typos or outdated information.

Computer carts allow nurses, doctors and others to enter data and update electronic health records at the point of care, reducing errors and delays. The information entered is more accurate, reducing medical errors and associated costs.

Use NBRIDGE Computer Trolley to help others more effectively

NBRIDGE is a leading innovator in the mobile medical cart industry, contact us today for a quote or more information on our medical carts.

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