What to Look for When Purchasing a Medical Supply Cart?

/ By DSI Marketing TeamJuly 25, 2022

Purchasing medical carts for a healthcare facility is a significant investment. Staff members use them regularly, and when well-designed, they can increase the efficiency and safety of patient care.

Additionally, they reduce operational costs by minimizing errors relating to hastening, mechanical accidents, and wrong medication dispensing.

But with the plethora of choices, which should you choose to supplement your current inventory or replace worn-out or broken medical carts? Do you need alterations to suit specific requirements? What size and which configurations should you incorporate?

Here are some of the most crucial features you should consider when buying healthcare storage solutions like medical supply carts and medical storage bins.

5 Things to Look for When Purchasing Medical Supply Carts on Wheels

Most hospitals, surgical centers, urgent care clinics, and other medical facilities have medical supply carts. But it can be difficult to decide which design or type is best for a unit because each has distinct patient capacities and demands.

For your convenience, here is a cheat sheet to help you choose the ideal healthcare storage solution for your particular workflow.

We're focusing on the basic but crucial features that can cater to a medical facility's most common and sophisticated routine—and frankly, modern design medical carts should have to stay relevant and reliable in an increasingly demanding industry.

1. Ergonomics

Medical supply carts are like utility carts. They should stand on full-bearing wheels with swivel casters and brakes designed specifically for the floor type of the facility.

Adjustable handles are preferred so that staff can push at shoulder width and elbow height. Handles that swing out of the way can increase the range of reach and save space.

Some manufacturers can customize the height and accommodate low profiles. They would come with easy-open side drawers and lower handles.

But the most important part of a cart's ergonomics is the usability of each feature or unit. Each should have a function that is navigable to healthcare providers.

2. Versatility

Medical carts should be able to perform multiple functions. They should be able to transport supplies and equipment and minimize the back and forth to and from the storage room. They should roll easily on flat, solid surfaces and stand still when needed.

Additionally, they should make it simpler and more efficient to store equipment and supplies in one location, particularly the large and refillable ones.

This feature is useful in examination rooms where heavy monitoring equipment is frequently used and at patient bedsides where regular medication and dressing administration are administered. They should facilitate the maintenance of order and aid in reducing clutter.

3. Security Features

Some medication carts can only be opened using an ID badge or a keypad lock. There is no need for padlocks or keys. Only authorized nurses can take medications from drawers.

Patients-specific drugs are placed in the drawers by pharmacy technicians before they are locked, so nurses must log in to open the drawers and dispense medication. A new log-in is needed for another access to the cart, as it locks automatically.

Some carts come with built-in software for both securing and monitoring user access. They print accurate receipts during audits and hold nurses accountable for their behavior.

4. Reliable Power Source

When purchasing a medical cart, consider its utility value for your facility. Think about which will best support your workflow and which will be best maintained within the process you have in place.

Choose a rechargeable type. Your options include:

Built-In Rechargeable Battery

This type has a light indicator for when the lithium-ion or sealed lead acid battery is full and nearing depletion. While one is being charged, another cart should replace it.

This type is best suited for workstations and nurse medication carts.

Swappable Battery Technology 

This type has removable batteries and can be used round the clock. It is a common feature in emergency, surgical, and isolation carts.

5. Advanced Technology

A medical cart with a power system usually carries a computer or barcode scanner. This design integrates with software that secures the cart and controls the dispensing of drugs. It also supports recording and retrieving of data, analysis of stored information, and easy referencing.

The best example of this feature can be seen in a central medicine unit. Since it carries a larger load of medical supplies than the satellite units, it needs to have stricter control. This is made possible by a computer that records all access or log-ins by staff, as well as which supply or medication is retrieved.

Choose the Right Medical Carts on Wheels with Distribution Systems International

Your medical carts or medical storage bins should be equipped with all the necessary features needed in your facility to increase their efficiency and reliability.

A reputable manufacturer of medical carts like Distribution Systems International can provide units equipped with highly advanced features that will make your daily operations easier, safer, and more efficient.

Talk to us for expert advice on medical-grade storage solutions or customized designs. You can trust our more than a decade of history in the industry. All our medical carts are assembled and built at our central facility in Southern California.To learn more about medical carts, connect with our team by filling out our online form or contacting us at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

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