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Pouches Medication Cart with Trays

/ By Ian LoperJuly 11, 2022

Medication carts or medical carts are mobile storage and organization solutions used in a hospital department.

There are different types of carts like emergency carts, anesthesia carts, isolation carts, and ergonomic carts. But regardless of type and ward designation, the purpose remains the same—to ensure the safe and efficient dispensing of medications by hospital staff.

There is also a basic or standard construction for these healthcare storage solutions, i.e., minimal footprint, lock, and drawers.

Medication Carts: An Overview

A medication cart stores and carries medications. It typically has wheels and a handle and is built of steel or aluminum. It can be completely or partially enclosed to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing one.

Such a cart has many benefits like:

  • It helps increase patient safety by minimizing human error by organizing medications and displaying them with easy and clear visibility.
  • With its built-in handles and wheels, it helps hospital staff carry around all the medications they need during their rounds—this is especially crucial in large facilities.
  • A medication cart is designed to prevent the stock medication from spilling out.

3 Things to Look for in a Medication Cart

While medication carts usually follow a standard construction, not all are built the same. There are factors you should consider, especially if you're mass purchasing for a medical facility.

Besides the quality of materials used, the most important factors to check are safety and security, drawers and storage, and size.

1. Security Upgrade with Keyless Entry Options

Some medication carts can only be accessed using an ID badge or an electronic keypad lock. No padlocks or keys are needed. This ensures that only authorized nurses can take medications out of the drawers.

Pharmacy technicians put patient-specific drugs in the drawers before locking them, requiring nurses to log in to open the drawers and dispense medication. The cart then automatically locks, requiring another log in for another access.

Other carts come with built-in software that both secures and monitors user access. They give hospitals assurance during audits and keep nurses responsible for their conduct by providing receipt print-outs.

2. Interchangeable Drawers for Restocking

An ideal medication cart has label holders and removable dividers to subdivide within drawers. If it's part of a central fill process, the drawers should be in an exchangeable cassette that can be removed and fit into a transfer cart. This transfer cart transports the cassettes to and from the pharmacy.

The size of drawers or bins should depend on the patient capacity of each ward. Small patient drawers offer more patient capacity per cart. Large drawers hold more medications for each patient. But as mentioned, it helps to have removable dividers for more grouping options.

3. Must Have a Small Footprint

The size of a medicine cart is determined by its functionality. A filling station or a ward that uses a mobile monitor or scanner demands a large cart. A small or less busy ward will need a regular-sized cart.

Whichever applies, your medical cart should have a small footprint. It should be able to carry as much medicine and supplies as it was constructed for without blocking hallways or being too heavy to be rolled around.

The Purpose of Medication Carts

Medical carts have transformed the way modern health facilities deliver patient care. But they come with various features and in various sizes to cater to different purposes. Here are some examples:

  • Isolation cart - for storing isolation room supplies. An isolation room is where patients suffering from infectious diseases are situated to avoid contact.
  • Anesthesia cart - for holding surgical tools and anesthesia paraphernalia during an operation.
  • Pediatric cart - for storing pediatric medication and supplies
  • Emergency or crash cart - for transporting and dispensing emergency medication and supplies. It comes in handy when conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation and typically contains advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and first-line drugs, a defibrillator, a bag valve mask, and a suction device.
  • Supply cart - for storing controlled substances or code medicine in the central supply unit. It carries a high-security lock so only authorized hospital staff can access its contents.

High-Quality Crash Carts for Intensive Care Situations

Choosing the right medical cart helps ensure quality and efficient patient care. It also aids in complying with health and medical facility safety standards.

For high-quality medical storage solutions, choose Distribution Systems International carts. Our designs come in different sizes and are made from quality aluminum, plastic, and steel models.

All medical carts are custom configured with 3-inch, 6-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch drawer sizes. Special features and accessories that cater to a specific ward or department functions are also available.

Need help deciding which design or size will work best for your facility? For expert consultation and a detailed quote., contact us at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

Medical Carts FAQs 

What are medical carts?

Medication carts are mobile storage units that organize, transport, and dispense drugs in hospital facilities. They are secure units with drawers, handle, and wheels used by staff to deliver safe patient care.

What are medical carts called?

Medical carts can be called different names based on their function. Examples are crash carts, isolation carts, pediatric carts, anesthesia carts, and bedside carts.

What is the nursing cart called?

A nursing cart is also called a code cart, patient cart, or medication cart.

Are carts medical devices?

A code cart can also be considered a medical device as it secures high-alert medications and supplies from being accessed by unauthorized personnel.

They also ensure safe organization and dispensing of medications and minimizes human error.

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