Computer on Wheels (COWs) and Workstations on Wheels (WOWs)
powered medical carts are widely used in hospitals and other healthcare
settings. Medical carts in many different shapes and sizes and are constructed
with different materials, such as stainless steel, painted steel, plastic,
polycarbonate, etc. Most medical carts in the market provide a wide range of
customization options that will fit, form, function, and meet the specific
needs of any facility. However, it should still end up comfortable with great
ergonomics to take care of your staff. Cornell University released a checklist that gives some guidance on ergonomic issues that are important considerations
for a decision maker who is selecting the best computer cart for their needs.
The checklist takes five sections into consideration: cart maneuvering,
worksurfaces/data input, screen/document reading, storage/accessories/power,
Nurses spend a lot of time on patient documentation, medication
administration and care coordination, all requiring the use of the workstation.
To avoid doctors, nurses, and medical assistants from wasting their time and
getting fatigued moving from place to place, designing the workstation
ergonomically is very important. While selecting your workstation, consider the
<Lightweight Design> Since nurses will move the cart from place to place, it needs to be lightweight so that they can push or pull the cart with minimal force. Moreover, it should not take up too much space. The cart base should be narrow enough to maneuver in tight spaces, such as around a hospital bed or in the corner of a room.
<Height Adjustment> A medial cart should have the ability to
adjust its height to fit each user. The height adjustment feature on medical
carts enables user to change the height of the desktop with ease. Sturdy and
smooth adjustment supports the weight of the frame and all accessories.
Staffs in all departments need to input data and update patients'
information into the hospital's system. So the cart should have an adequate,
stable work surface platform for mounting the desired computer unit such as a
laptop or tablet. Moreover, you should be able to tilt, rotate and adjust its
height for maximum configuration.
You should be able to adjust the display to eye level for both
standing and sitting use, which includes tilting, swiveling, rotating, raising,
and lowering the display. The size of the display should be large enough to
read the data.
Not only bringing necessary patient information, but medical staff
should also transport essential tools and medications for patients' rounds. So,
your medical carts should have sufficient convenient storage space with
security for task requirements. Besides, the cart should accommodate all of the
required accessories such as drawers, sharp containers, and medicine
compartments. A reliable battery with a proven design should ensure adequate
power for task demands.
What the pandemic Covid-19 has done is implemented much more
stringent and frequent cleaning schedules for these workstations. So, materials
that are easy to clean and sterilize should be used for the workstations. Being
comfortable to touch, not chip or crack, rounded edges are factors that should
be considered for the medical carts.