We take a lot for granted when hospitalized and treated by medical professionals. But, first and foremost, we anticipate receiving competent care from trained medical professionals.
We anticipate receiving some medicine during our stay as part of that care. While a hospital visit can be unpleasant for many reasons, few people worry about receiving the incorrect dosage or, even worse, a prescription their doctor did not prescribe.
Unfortunately, the frequency of medication mistakes is higher than would be ideal.
The Institute of Medicine reports that “at least one drug error each day” occurs to patients, with at least 29% of such mistakes being entirely avoidable.
Even one daily mistake is too many when prescription errors can potentially have fatal consequences.
Unfortunately, medication mistakes can have serious consequences, including unintended side effects that increase the length of a patient’s hospital stay or the likelihood of a patient needing to return to the hospital soon.
To solve the Medication storage and transport issues, medication carts are here to save the day. Typically constructed from steel or aluminum, these carts also feature wheels and a carry handle. In addition, they can be entirely or partially sealed to prevent the medication from flowing.
Let’s dive deeper into reasons why medication carts for hospitals are a lifesaver:
There must be a safe method of entry. These Medical carts can be unlocked with a keypad or accessed with an ID badge. It locks the drawers inside the cart so only authorized nurses can access the medications.
Pharmacy technicians fill the drawers with medications tailored to each patient and locked in place. The medicine for a given patient is already organized in a cart drawer, so all the nurses must log in and get it out.
The unit locks automatically once the nurse leaves and requires a separate login from another nurse to dispense medication to a different patient.
The medication carts should have integrated software that grants access and tracks that entry, or the “whereabouts” of users if you will.
This software should be able to monitor who is using the medication carts at any given time. By doing so, hospitals can maintain track of the individuals who enter the carts and the prescriptions they retrieve.
This feature creates something akin to a “paper trail,” which gives hospitals peace of mind during audits and ensures that nurses are held accountable for their conduct.
Medication carts serve a fundamental purpose in the pharmacy by facilitating the transport of various drugs.
Hospital pharmacies are not always conveniently positioned near patient rooms and are not always accessible from every floor. They could be in the hospital’s bowels, on another level, or in a completely different structure.
The pharmacy is brought directly to the patient’s side by rolling pharmaceutical carts on wheels. Medication carts allow the pharmacy to carry medications to patients’ rooms, expanding the reach of decentralized medication rooms around the hospital.
The lack of nurses and the complexity of hospital operations are perennial problems, so any way to streamline these processes and provide better patient care is welcome.
For example, nurses can spend more time caring for patients if they spend less time transporting medications from patient rooms to a central medication room and less time obtaining and validating those medications.
Patient Experience & Convenience
Medical carts allow doctors, nurses, and much other medical staff to devote more time to patients and less time thinking about where to find more supplies during surgery or an emergency.
This boosts a patient’s sense of optimism and trust in their care. Further, it facilitates communication between doctor and patient, allowing the latter to field queries from the former.
Today’s medical carts are equipped with sophisticated tools that permit doctors to perform diagnostic procedures directly in the patient’s room. So that your medical staff may perform in-room vitals checks; for example, they bring ultrasound equipment and other instruments.
In conclusion, medical carts will facilitate the provision of healthcare services within your facility by providing your medical team with all the necessary materials in a single, easily transportable place.