The types of the med carts needed in your healthcare facility are designed or purchased from the culmination of the needs and expectations of the professionals to be utilizing the carts. Med carts can be customized to the expectations of each facility department or marketed for sale from inventory. Med carts can be utilized in all areas of a healthcare facility, such as reception and wait areas, back-of-house operations and conference rooms, the cafeteria and the highly-traveled areas by visitors. These functions are in addition to patient interaction.
Creating the Concept
Input for the types of med carts, for sale or customized, are derived from all areas of the facility to ensure versatility and function. The services of the sales representative should include the inquiring of use specifications of each department manager relating to the features, functionality, and aesthetics. The big-picture understanding of a cart’s utility will help drill down to the generalities of size, load capacity, weight, and mobility. These characteristics will be specific to the function of each department. The type of med cart should mirror the uniqueness of the facility.
Objectives of Use
The healthcare and business professionals need to articulate the objectives of use. A qualified sales representative will ask the following questions of each department:
- What is your definition of the perfect cart?
- How do you imagine the cart functioning?
From the responses to these two all-encompassing questions, the type of med carts for your facility will begin to form. The look, image, and feel of the cart, “high-tech” or welcoming, will become apparent. Any requirement for IEC 60601 or FDA testings will become known at this stage.
The input relating to any equipment and devices, and the length of time in use, on the cart, will lead to the requirements of the power supply source. The cart should function around the equipment, the power source, and the environment; i.e., areas of sterility, public access, office or food. The final characteristic in the technology category is the management of the power cables and whether the cables are to be visible or hidden.
The Human Factor
Another important characteristic that the med cart sales representative needs to be made aware of is the cart’s interaction with the user in its function, assembly, and repair. The sales representative must know the expectations of and needs for writing surfaces and height adjustments. The understanding of the scope of the maintenance and IT staff in charge of the cart’s repair after assembly, as well as the need of any special tools or training, are important factors in the cart’s design. Another valuable service is the demonstration of a prototype at the facility for a test-run to measure functionality and gain insight to any deficiencies or needed upgrades.
The overall features of a med cart, and the carts within the non-medical departments of the facility need to function as mobile workstations or be obvious as the focal point for information, services, and presentations. The new generation of carts, like people, are expected to carry a heavier workload, to accommodate a broad spectrum of hardware and to manage software, all in smaller footprints for easy maneuverability and storage.
The med cart type will not achieve unison with the use and the interaction of people if the sales representative did not have, or did not understand, the expectations of each department. It is essential the chosen supplier or manufacturer offers all services mentioned above for the healthcare facility to achieve a proactive fleet of medical carts.