Anyone who has worked at a modern hospital can attest that there are many types of medical carts. They may look interchangeable to patients, but they each serve a distinct purpose. Read about hospital registration carts to find out what they are, how they're used, and more.

What Are Hospital Registration Carts?

The hospital registration carts available in modern facilities are mobile, flexible workstations that allow nurses and administrators to move quickly between patients to gather and record information. As the name implies, they're most commonly used for initial patient registration. However, hospital registration carts also have an essential role in emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and various medical or surgical departments.

Key Features

Hospital registration carts must be easy to move from one room or bed to another, so they need slim profiles and high-quality wheels. They should be able to hold standard computer equipment and basic supplies and have the flexibility to accommodate drawers, bins, printers, scanners, and extensive work surfaces.

Administrators should also look for specialized carts made of durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear associated with inpatient and outpatient settings. Remember that the carts must be cleaned and sanitized frequently in many settings. This can impact the range of appropriate materials for any medical cart.

When to Buy New Carts

Obviously, high-quality medical carts of all sorts should be made to last. Eventually, even the best hospital registration carts will need to be replaced. Administrators should consider ordering new carts if any of the following situations apply.

The Carts Are Obsolete

Companies can't provide parts for products that they have already discontinued. This makes purchasing new carts easy when things start to go wrong.

New Technology Isn't Compatible

Purchasing motorized hospital registration carts designed to accommodate a range of technological solutions can help administrators avoid unnecessarily frequent upgrades. However, if the old carts can't accommodate new technology, it's time to switch them out.

Employees Are Struggling

If nurses, aids, and administrators struggle to use the old carts even when they're in good condition, that's a bad sign. It makes more sense to purchase new ones that are easier to use. When in doubt, consult the hospital staff regarding the most essential features.

The Carts Are Breaking Frequently

Even if a cart is new enough that it's easy to find parts for it, fixing the same problems over and over makes little sense from a financial standpoint. Replacing the cart is usually a better option when equipment downtime starts getting in the way of productivity.

Patient Safety May Be Affected

A broken registration cart usually will not cause patient safety issues. However, if the damaged equipment leads to emergency room backups or reduces the time staff can spend on patient care, it's a different matter. Upgrade the carts now to avoid reductions in patient satisfaction and improve outcomes.

Where to Learn More

Hospital administrators should always be given sufficient time to investigate available options and make an informed decision about purchasing medical equipment, including patient registration carts. Those with questions or concerns not addressed in this article should contact a specialized medical cart and equipment supplier directly to get answers before placing an order.