As you prepare to take advantage of the government incentives regarding meaningful use EHR adoption (and attempt to avoid the penalties), don’t forget to take a look at your hardware and mobile cart capabilities. If you already have mobile carts, evaluate whether they are satisfying your needs or if changes need to be made to help make the transition to EHR/EMR easier on your workforce. If you don’t have a mobile cart vendor, there is a lot for you to consider.
1. Create an Inventory of your Current Hardware and Software Capabilities
Make a list of any current medical carts, power systems, options, and accessories (scanners, baskets, etc) that you may currently have. Also, keep in mind your wireless capabilities, software requirements (current and future), and computer hardware. All of these factors will affect your mobile cart needs.
2. Identify Your Needs and Wants
Building off the inventory you created in Step 1, identify your needs and wants. What items do you need to purchase to get your EHR software up and running? What would your staff like to have to help make their day-to-day activities easier?
3. Gather Information on Medical Computer Cart Manufacturers
Visit the websites or contact the manufacturers of mobile medical carts. Get product sheets and consider talking with a sales representative who can help ensure that you are getting the right product for your needs.
4. Request a Medical Cart Demo
After you’ve narrowed your list down to a few vendors, bring them in for a demo. Evaluating their products in a real life, one-on-one manner can help you get a better feel for the quality of the products as well as the look and feel. It also gives you time to interact with the team that will be supporting you through the next few years.
5. Develop a ’10 Year Plan’
Buying a medical cart should be a long term investment. Ensure that the cart you choose has a history of quality and dependability, and that they have the warranty and support team to stand behind their words. Batteries, cells, and other power system components should also be worked into the plan if they are part of your purchase.
There are many factors to consider when implementing or upgrading an EHR platform, and the more prepared you are going into it, the better your return on investment will be in the long term.