Roam if you want to: carts roundup

Aug. 7, 2010

Offering everything from videoconferencing to security-enabled medication management, these aren't your grandfather's carts.

It could be said that the 21st century is the Golden Age of mobile workstations. Gone are the days of clunky, squeaky-wheeled shopping carts on steroids. The confluence of necessity and cutting-edge technology have conspired to transform today's mobile workstations, carts and COWs (computers on wheels) from the frumpy flotsam of our forefathers into the beautiful belles of the ball.

Here is a selection of latest models from some of the leaders in the industry:

Flo Series mobile computing workstations, including the Flo 1760, with integrated videoconferencing

  • Base cart footprint 17″ x 17″
  • Aluminum base, polymer column and work surface with steel support
  • Work surface 21.5″ x 18″; height adjustable from 34″ to 47″
  • Four swivel casters: two locking, two non-locking, low rolling resistance
  • User configurable storage; available with multiple accessory options
  • Standard LCD display is 19″ diagonal; options: touch screen; 22″

Unique selling point
A highly sophisticated and modular workstation, Metro's Flo Series 1760 wireless mobile workstation is designed to easily integrate with emerging technologies to give hospitals the flexibility to use one workstation for numerous applications, power systems and technology components.

Point of care with 80 miles of reach
For patients in rural communities, geographic isolation can provide a significant barrier to receiving quality, timely care. The problem is especially serious in Nebraska, with a population density of just 23 people per square mile.

To address this challenge, the Dialysis Center of Lincoln (DCL), in Lincoln, Neb., turned to Metro for help with developing a customized, state-of-the-art telehealth solution. On a typical day, doctors and nurse practitioners at the Lincoln facility are able to examine dozens of patients during dialysis treatment. While accessing the patient's EMR, they carefully check the patient's skin color, the point of access for the dialysis equipment and other health conditions related to the patients' kidney disease.

It sounds routine — except that many of the patients are 80 miles north, at DCL's Columbus facility. The visual exams and documentation are completed using DCL's state-of-the-art telehealth system supported by Metro's Flo Series mobile computing workstations equipped with videoconferencing systems. Each mobile computing workstation is equipped with a 19-inch monitor and a Polycom videoconferencing system, including a camera, microphone and codec.

Because the workstation carries its own power supply, there is no need to plug in, which eliminates hassles — and safety issues. The Flo workstations feature a superior mobile power solution combined with enhanced wireless connectivity, allowing DCL's care teams to move the units around the clinics as needed for patient consults or educational sessions. The workstations' wireless system links to DCL's network to transmit audio/visual data and to provide access to patient records in the EMR system.

“Workstation mobility is important because our patients are confined to the chair during treatment,” says Larry Emerson, CEO of DCL. “Metro helped us design a system that enables us to bring the cart to them with a camera on it, which is key to the whole system.”

For more information on Metro:

M38 RX

  • Weight: starting at 102 lbs
  • Weight with battery: 123 lbs
  • Anti-microbial properties: smooth, cleanable surface, medical-grade plastic, all touch points removable
  • Battery life: 10 hours with 50W continuous load
  • Time it takes to charge: 2 hours
  • Security features: electronic pin-code drawer system; programmable auto-lock
  • Wireless attributes: network fleet management of power systems and PIN codes
  • Tracking capabilities: compatible with RFID, Wi-Fi and Infrared tracking systems

Unique selling point
This extremely light, agile cart includes all the benefits of heavier carts (including ample, secure drawer space) with the added ability to easily change the lithium battery for small CPUs and monitors.

With everything at the ready, even the nurses are healing
When it began a bar-coded medication administration system, Norwalk Hospital, Conn., re-evaluated its entire medication delivery process to improve patient safety. Nurses historically administered medications at bedside, returning to the nursing station for charting. But mobile carts then in use proved unwieldy and difficult to push, so were often left outside patient rooms.

Norwalk's medical-surgical nurses were asked to evaluate several new options, walking through the medication administration work flow and analyzing each solution's impact on overall clinical work flow.

Ultimately, they selected the contemporary M38 RX from Rubbermaid Medical Solutions. The easily manipulated, streamlined design contains ample drawer space for medications needed during a full eight- to 12-hour shift. A superior security system automatically locks drawers, and a keyboard light eases nighttime duties.

Adopting the Rubbermaid cart has positively impacted work flow and improved patient safety, as well as reduced physical strain while increasing nurse/patient interaction. “We've seen a massive reduction in nurse back injuries,” says Renee Peart, RN, patient care service manager.

“Nurses stay at the patient bedside longer because the cart is right there with everything needed for medication administration and computer access,” agrees Karl Lewis, pharmacy informatics specialist. “The Rubbermaid cart has helped create a safer, more positive care experience for everyone.”

For more information on Rubbermaid:

Harmony bedside charting cart with ILS


Physical keys are a thing of the past. ILS small carts are part of a wireless Web-based tracking system that allows cart access programming from any computer. Manage all user information from any PC.

Unique selling point
Stanley InnerSpace ILS (Intelligent Locking System) is a Web-based system that enables administrators to wirelessly program security features on small procedure and supply carts from any PC, add and delete users (up to 8,500 prox card credentials per system), adjust cart settings and track staff activity.

Web-based security control with flexible storage to boot
With 274 carts spread over three campuses in one Georgia-based IDN, Gwinnett Health System (GHS) uses the Harmony bedside charting cart with ILS (Intelligent Locking System) to dispense medication at the patient's bedside.

By selecting a mobile point-of-care solution that combines a secured compartment for accessing IT functions, auto-locking drawers for patient medication and nursing supply storage and a generous work surface, GHS has improved staff work flow and improved patient care. By tracking the administration of medicines electronically in the room, the chance for a medication error or inaccurate log entry is also greatly reduced.

The cart provides plenty of storage space for general nursing supplies in addition to the medication drawer. Access to the carts is managed by Stanley InnerSpace ILS, utilizing the employees' hospital badges to control and track access to the carts. User access credentials and access records are managed through a proprietary wireless system that is managed through a Web-based application. This system allows GHS administrators to program staff access credentials system-wide through a central application to increase security for IT functions and medications while realizing significant time savings.

For more information on Stanley InnerSpace:

Motion C5 mobile clinical assistant (MCA) and Motion clinical workstation (MCW-200)

  • The efficiently designed system enables up to 15 hours of continuous performance. The mobile power system includes rapid recharge capabilities and accurate, easy-to-read gauges.
  • Slide out keyboard tray 16″ W x 14″ D
  • Drawers/storage 16″ W x 14″ D
  • Cart weight 155 lbs.
  • Independent work surface 27″ to 47″ adjustable height
  • Work surface 15″ W x 10.25″ L
  • Cart height 61.5″ H
  • Removable storage bin with dividers
    12″ W x 12″ L x 4″
  • Utility basket 8″ W x 12″ L x 6″ D
  • Four casters: 2 swivel locking, 1 locking, 1 non-locking
  • Cart base 18″ W x 18″ H x 2.51″ D
  • Extended battery: 12-15 hours of continuous use
  • Standard battery: 6-7 hours of continuous use
  • Recharge time, extended battery: 4.5 hours
  • Recharge time, standard battery: 3 hours
  • Battery monitor gauge on motion control unit
  • Power base input voltage: 90 ~ 265 VAC
  • Frequency range: 47 ~ 63 Hz
  • Power factor correction: 0.96 ~ 0.98
  • Inrush current: 30a @ 100 VAC / 60A @ 200 VAC
  • Power base output voltage: 9 ~ 16 VDC
  • Current: 9.4 ADC max.
  • Maximum power: 150W
  • Power base dimensions: 18″ W x 10″ H x 10″ D

Unique selling point
Combining the Motion C5 mobile clinical assistant (MCA) tablet PC with the Motion clinical workstation/COW (MCW-200) offers a truly flexible solution for improving clinical productivity, optimizing electronic medical records (EMR) utilization and enhancing clinician satisfaction by delivering options to personalize computing solutions for individual work flows.

Hybrid mobile computing makes for smooth operators
After deploying an electronic medical record (EMR) application from MEDITECH, the team at St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Ill., chose the Motion C5 MCA to extend the solution to the patient bedside. Now, with more than 600 C5s in use, the hospital has seen an increase in bedside patient scans from just 20 percent to 97 percent — resulting in improved accuracy of data collected and an increase in data efficiency. With the C5s, clinicians can access data at the bedside, the nurses' station or from various other points of service with fewer disruptions in care.

While the St. John's team was enthusiastic with the C5s, they knew they needed additional solutions that could support its diverse range of clinicians throughout the hospital. The team chose the Motion clinical workstation (MCW-200) to offer a highly flexible computing solution that adapts to individual clinical work flows. Based on the Motion active power system, the MCW-200 offers the added benefit of providing up to 15 hours of battery life. Now with the C5s and MCW-200s, St. John's has equipped clinicians with the ability to use technology right at the bedside or use a full mobile workstation throughout the hospital for more documentation-intensive work flows.

“St. John's has worked closely with Motion throughout our mobility deployment and relied on the team's expertise in helping to design and deliver the right solution for our clinicians and our patients,” says Mark Krieger, manager of IT operations for St. John's. “Combining the C5 with the MCW-200 offers us a highly flexible computing solution that optimizes EMR utilization and enhances care across the hospital.”

For more information on Motion Computing:

Anesthesia-Rx medication dispensing carts


Anesthesia-Rx has customizable, industry-leading features and options available to meet the unique dispensing needs of any anesthesiology department, including:

  • Two-touch dispensing
  • Virtual Pocket technology
  • Greatest capacity with standard & tall models
  • Widest range of drawer and pocket options
  • 19″ color touch-screen monitor
  • Three rows of tilt bin storage
  • Integral uninterrupted power supply (UPS)
  • Optional automated syringe label printer
  • Optional bar-code scanner
  • Open cart alert and locking features
  • Height (standard model): 66″
  • Height (tall model): 69.5″
  • Width: 39″
  • Depth: 40.8″
  • Work surface height (standard model): 39.75″
  • Work surface height (tall model): 43.25″
  • Weight: 300 lbs + / – 10% without meds or supplies (depends on drawer confi guration)
  • Input power: 2.5A @ 120 VAC 60 Hz (~300W) without accessories such as printer, scanner, etc.
  • Wireless network: 802.11 a/b/g
  • Wireless card requirements: PCI bus 2.2 standard, full-height PCI mount, standard SMA connector
  • Tracking capabilities: Uses data from admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) interface as a one-way link to track patient location and transmit up-to-date ADT data to the cart

Unique selling point
Featuring the greatest capacity of any cart on the market, McKesson's Anesthesia-Rx with its visual roadmap technology and one-of-a-kind syringe label printer option is an automated anesthesia cart that extends bar-code medication management into the operating room to ensure anesthesia providers have access to the medications and narcotics they need, when they need them.

Haul monitors improve medication management
When pharmacy leaders at Shore Memorial Hospital installed two Anesthesia-Rx medication dispensing carts, they didn't expect the anesthesiology team to ask for more in the first week. But that was the reaction received by Barbara Giacomelli, pharmacy director at the 296-bed hospital located in Somers Point, N.J.

“The biggest benefits that we are seeing are improved work flow and drug utilization accountability,” says Giacomelli. “In the pharmacy, we have reduced the workload (checking, charging and restocking) of our pharmacists and techs, documentation is much easier to manage, and because we have more control over our high-alert drugs and controlled substances, we've improved regulatory compliance.”

Previously, Shore Memorial used a completely manual process to manage medications during procedures. This was extremely time consuming, increased the potential for narcotic diversion and resulted in inventory management issues for anesthesiology. With Anesthesia-Rx, the hospital not only improved work flow and drug utilization accountability, but also reduced the risk of medication errors, improved regulatory compliance, streamlined the inventory management process and improved charge capture. In addition, the pharmacy is able to monitor the electronic documentation of all activities performed
on the carts.

For more information on McKesson:

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