Optimized Medical Carts Streamline Workflow

OPTIMIZING THE WORKFLOW

With patient experience in mind, a set of trial carts were sent to specific facilities to test their integration with the clinical professionals’ workflow. These test carts highlighted areas for improvement, such as altering the wireless antenna to ensure safety, and in some cases changing the wheels of the carts to overcome larger floor thresholds.

ESI also tailored carts to allow behavioral health professionals to lock computers onto the carts while with patients. Another modification assisted the nursing team in distributing medications; the cart barcode scanners were installed to connect to medication records and compare patient wristbands to the prescription bottles. These prescription carts were altered to have locking drawers for medication to meet HIPAA regulations.

PREPARING THE CARTS

A large mid-Atlantic health system, of 10 hospitals and more than 750 office locations, partnered with ESI to rollout approximately 2500 medical carts to replace their hallway computer system.

ESI procured carts that fit the basic requirements of the health system’s network and then installed computers onto the carts and imaged the devices. The imaging included all components needed for the client’s workflow, from the electronic medical records to security and compliance needs of the health system. Once the devices were imaged, ESI attached and calibrated barcode scanners that allowed for quick access to records using a patient’s wristband. These scanners were also connected to the prescription software to increase accuracy in medication delivery.

To facilitate the health system’s asset management team in quickly integrating the carts into their system, ESI tagged and inventoried all carts prior to delivery.

IMPACTING PATIENT CARE

The desired product requirements – size, cost, industrial design, and ergonomics – were exceeded. Customizing the carts for specific workflow needs allowed for seamless implementation. Customer feedback has been extremely positive – the health system staff praise the carts’ mobility and ease of use, as well as the adaptable design that visually and technically fits in with other facility equipment.

The optimized medical carts allow the health staff to access electronic medical records while with the patient. This facilitates real time data entry, allowing for records to be adjusted quickly and securely. The client’s clinical staff reported that the carts enable them to spend more time face-to-face with patients—a key factor in improving the patient care cycle.