The medical technology evolves in giant leaps. At the same time, tight budgets, increasingly stringent regulations and high patient expectations force hospitals to screen their acquisitions ever-more carefully. With so many options, customizations, and a wide range or prices, how does a healthcare facility choose the right equipment? The answer is – choose the technology that lets you do more with less. Case in point – medical PCs you mount on your carts.

Non-powered carts and medical grade computers powered by hot-swappable batteries bring undeniable cost and efficiency benefits to medical settings on multiple levels. This configuration significantly outperforms the features of powered carts + AIO configuration (or computers on wheels). These advantages apply to medical staff, patients, hospital IT staff and the hospital budget.

Hot Swappable Batteries

The hot swap technology allows your staff to swap the batteries of a medical computer without interrupting its performance. Your nurses do not need to save the data and orderly shut down the computer to take it to the power outlet to charge several times per shift. Hot-swap batteries can be changed on the go while the computer remains operational.

Each unit has three hot-swap batteries that afford your personnel 16-hour uptime, meaning the computer runs continuously during an entire shift. No more lost data due to a low battery or unexpected power outage. This effectively minimizes the interruptions of services or loss of critical patient data.

More so, full-shift uptime with hot-swap batteries in medical PCs mean your staff does not have to monitor the battery status as they typically do with powered carts that need to be charged more frequently. The ease of the hot swap lets your nurses focus on the patients, EHR, drug dispensing, and other, direct responsibilities, instead of keeping tabs open on the battery status.

Your medical staff does not need to take the cart to another location to charge. They just swap the low batteries with the charged ones and continue with their work. Multiple charging options provide unprecedented flexibility to suit any work style.

You can have two sets of three batteries, so you always have a 16-hour worth of power at hand. Alternatively, you can run your PC from two batteries while on the third one is charging, or charge all three batteries while your computer is plugged into a power outlet. Such flexibility lets your medical staff choose the charging schedule they find the most convenient.

Cost & Usability Efficiency

Powered medical carts are significantly more expensive that the non-powered ones. They provide a shorter uptime and take longer to charge than the medical computers with hot-swap batteries. While charging, powered carts need to be near a power outlet. Even powered carts with hot-swap batteries have significantly bulkier and heavier designs and less flexibility than the non-powered ones and PCs with hot-swap batteries.

Non-powered carts are more lightweight than the powered ones, and the medical PC with hot-swap batteries weighs no more than 18.25 lbs with three fully-charged batteries. This configuration, devoid of wire clutter, is easy to handle and maneuver throughout the facility round the clock. Not to mention the cost benefits, as hospitals can use the existing carts without having to buy powered ones, or upgrade the older equipment.

Many powered carts need the battery replaced on an annual basis. The cost of the replacement batteries is prohibitive. Many healthcare facilities are opting to use the powered carts without its battery in conjunction with a medical computer with hot swap batteries. This saves the annual cost of purchasing the cart battery while still using the same carts.

Safety

The recent FDA reports warn about powered carts catching fire, exploding or overheating, which “required hospital evacuations.” Battery-powered medical carts for medication dispensing, carrying computers or other equipment for patient monitoring were the reason for multiple hospital fires and other health hazards that prompted the FDA to issue the warning. The FDA recommends healthcare facilities should carefully check that the battery meets standards for use in a hospital environment, which is not always the case with powered carts.

Cybernet’s medical grade computers are 60601-1 certified, safe from electrical and radiation hazards, fanless and antimicrobial, which is indispensable in near-patient and sterile settings. The ergonomic design eliminates reliance on wire clutter, so your computers are safe for use in geriatric departments and long-term care facilities, where wiring can cause patients to trip over them.

Productivity

The time your medical staff saves by relying on a medical cart computer that stays operational during an entire shift is essential. Patient care is accurate as no data is lost and the EHR is always on and in sync, and your nurses do not have to waste time taking the carts to charge.

Whoever is using the cart computer, the advantages of always having an accessible PC result in better productivity, be it for patient monitoring, drug dispensing, billing, managing patient transfers, documenting episodes of care, checking test results or ordering them.

The EHR systems are increasingly mandated for use. Having a mobile, cart-mount medical grade powerhouse of a computer at the fingertips of the physicians, nurses and administrators allows hospitals to:

  1. increase the pace of digitization, replace the obsolete pen/paper/folder records
  2. switch to high-tech, powerful, EHR-ready medical grade computers safe for near-patient use or use in sterile environments
  3. minimize human error, duplicate entries, duplicate tests
  4. cross-reference allergies, medication contradictions, track drug dosage and dispensing at the patient bedside
  5. access reference literature and websites and have all the necessary information at all times in a portable format that medical professionals can take from room to room.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a facility as complex as a hospital. So, we suggest opting for a manufacturer vs. a vendor, as a manufacturer is always more flexible and willing to offer multiple options to address your concerns.