3 Things to Look for in your Treatment Cart

Organization is essential when treating patients, having the proper tools easily accessible can be a major benefit for your staff. Therefore, when designing a treatment cart, not only the treatment itself must be taken into consideration, but your staff's ability to access supplies on the fly. Some features to consider if you want to meet maximum efficiency with your treatment cart include, the ability to access all supplies, easy maneuverability, a small footprint and an adequate amount of work space

A nurse standing over patient while they both exchange cheerful smiles.

3 Tips to Improve Your Treatment Cart:

Pro tip : Prior to designing your treatment cart, take the time to ascertain exactly which tools, supplies and equipment are necessary for a successful application. This ensures that your completed treatment cart will meet any need that arises during the procedure.

1. Storage Density

Creating a treatment cart with adequate storage to support the treatment for which it is designed reduces the frustration that results from multiple trips to find the supplies necessary to complete a procedure.

Drawers – to ensure that treatment items and applications of all sizes can be housed in the drawers, a variety of drawer depths are available. Drawer depths range from: 3, 6, 9 and 12 inches (76, 152, 229 and 305 millimeters). Look for carts that offer drawers that are full extension, so that all items can be attained quickly, despite their location. Furthermore, advanced carts will offer drawers that have self-closing, ball bearing slides to make accessing supplies easy and to ensure the drawer remains closed and secure when not in use.

Bins – these can be placed on the side of the treatment cart and/or above the work surface. These bins are the perfect place to store frequently used items. In addition, there are lockable bins that can be used to store items like syringes and I.V. starter kits.

Shelves – roller shelves can be used to store a variety of products, including equipment. These shelves extend easily and are nearly silent during movement: This remains true even when placed on the lower levels of a treatment cart.

2. Organization

By creating a cart that is specifically designed for a certain treatment or for a group of similar treatments, you can dictate the amount of storage you need to ensure everything can be found quickly and easily, which makes organizing supplies a breeze.

Dividers and Labels – using dividers to separate various supplies in a single drawer and then adding labels to the exterior of the drawer to identify which supplies are inside allows any staff member to locate the necessary supplies quickly.

Drawer trays – drawer trays can also be divided, and provide a higher level of efficiency in maintaining inventory levels. An entire drawer can be restocked by simply exchanging trays. The partially used tray can then be restocked during a less busy time of day.

Accessory Placement – many accessories are available to conveniently locate needed around the work are. The cart side or even more convenient, accessory rails situated above the work surface can keep needed items right at hand.

3. Versatility

3 Things to Look for in your Treatment Cart

Due to the versatility of the accessories and options available, creating a treatment cart to be used for a single procedure or several similar procedures is possible.

Convenience Features – The convenience features available on these carts allow for versatility, these features include an I.V. pole, cord management, O2 tank storage, a lockable sharps container, glove box holder, trays, dividers and a hospital-grade outlet strip.

Pull-Out Shelving – the pull-out side shelf can be used as an additional work space and there is an interior shelf that can be pulled out to house equipment or to be used as a seated writing surface.

Accommodation for Technology: more advanced carts will offer on board power to enable integration of computers and keep them powered for the entire shift, so there is no disruption in powering or shutting down between patients. Keyboard shelf and monitor arms make integrating technology into a treatment cart simple. Integrating this technology into the treatment cart also negates the need to have to also tote along a WOW.

Right Sizing – having a good understanding of the work that needs to be done on the cart, as well as the space available in the locations the cart will be used will lead you to the right size cart. Bigger is better, if you have the space. If your limited with space look for a smaller cart with the option to pull out additional work space when needed.