Options To Consider With Medication Carts
Medication carts are an essential piece of equipment in any health care facility. It is important to understand what options or features are available on different medication carts in order to get the best possible match for the different types of wards, units and patient areas found within different facilities. Knowing both what is important, what would be a security or time saving feature and what accessories can be added to different medication carts is essential.
The first major consideration is the material that particular medication carts can be constructed from. The most durable medication carts are those made out of metals such as aluminum and steel. While slightly heavier than the plastic med carts they are very resistant to any type of damage and are very secure. In addition the heavier metal carts have more stability when in motion as well as when used as a table-top for preparing or dispensing medications. A combination short railing and push handle style is a great option for keeping medications and materials on the top of the carts without having to worry about items falling off, even if the cart is in motion.
The number of cassettes and bins on medication carts is important if you are working on larger units. Many medication carts have the option of up to 36 or more separate bins that are arranged in easy to remove cassettes. Some of the larger deluxe carts can also hold over 200 different medications. These types of mediation carts also allows dispensing nurses and health care providers to stock the medication carts in order and rearrange the cassettes to move the various cassettes to the top of the cart as they work through the ward or unit. One or more multipurpose storage drawers are also a great way to keep basic first aid supplies, extra equipment or anything else out off of the top of the cart and secured away from the patients.
Locking compartments or drawers for narcotics are required through all facilities, so ensuring that the medication carts have the approved lock types are essential. Some carts off a spring close mechanism that automatically locks the compartment when it is closed. This extra feature prevents the possibility that the drawer may be closed but not locked. Some carts have combination locks or keyed locks for both the narcotics compartment as well as the general cassette area for additional security.
Options on medication carts that are both handy and time saving include locks on the wheels, removable plastic tops for replacement or cleaning, skid free wheels, bumper frames to prevent scuffing on walls and even ball bearing drawer closures for easy movement. Other features to consider include pull out trays or side shelves that provide additional space for staff to work and extra add-ons such as cup dispensers that can be mounted to the medication carts.