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Clinical Workstations: Mobile Versus Wall-Mounted

March 18th, 2010 | Comments (0)

Information technology has penetrated virtually every aspect of healthcare. The clinical workstation is, in a sense, the interface between the flesh and blood world of patients and healthcare staff and the digital world of hospital records and data. As the use of computers in hospitals reached its saturation point the days of one size fits all, clinical workstations quickly came to an end. Hospital administrators now have to choose from a wide variety of technologies and equipment. Choosing between mobile or wall-mounted clinical workstations is best done on a case by case basis. Here is a very basic rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of each option:

Advantages of Mobile Workstations:

  • Can roll into any room and be used at the point of care.
  • Height adjustability allows for optimal ergonomics.
  • One clinical workstation can be used to carry out tasks through several rooms.

Disadvantages of Mobile Workstations:

  • Can potentially obstruct hallways posing fire hazards or building code issues
  • More susceptible to theft
  • Potential for staff fatigue if carts are heavy and/or don’t roll easily
  • Wireless network potentially less reliable than wired network
  • Greater possibility of confidential information being viewed by passersby

Advantages of Wall-Mounted Workstations:

  • Staff know where the clinical workstation is located at all times.
  • The workstation doesn’t take up floorspace when not in use.
  • Chances of accidental damage or theft is less.
  • Cabinet is closed when not attended, so there is less chance of passersby looking at confidential information

Disadvantages of Wall-Mounted Workstations:

  • Obvious one – the lack of mobility.  Cannot be taken to point of care.
  • Can require reinforcement to wall for secure installation
  • Potential requirement for greater number of units

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Regardless of the pros and cons of the two options, there will be situations that are a perfect fit for the mobile option and others where a wall-mounted clinical workstation is ideal. For example, wall-mounted units are preferred by most critical care units. This is because the patient care activity is intense and life saving equipment is given a higher priority when it comes to floor space. Other departments prefer mobile carts for tasks such as entering the medical history of a newly admitted patient while conferring with the patient at bedside. The most efficient and best standard of care will often involve a carefully considered deployment of both types of clinical workstation.

Find out more about HospitalMobility.com’s range of medical computer carts and medical workstations or request a free quote now.

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