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Mobile Computing Equipment

Getting the lead out

Hamilton Medical Center is shifting from conventional sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries to advanced lithium- iron nano-phosphate (Li-Nano), which supports more technology at the point of care.

Hamilton Medical Center, a 282-bed hospital in Dalton, Ga., is shifting from conventional sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries to advanced lithium-iron nano-phosphate (Li-Nano). Hamilton launched its push into electronic medical records (EMRs) in 2004 with barcode medication administration (BCMA), says Cathy Ferguson, RN, MSN, vice president and chief nursing offi cer. At that point, the SLA batteries were suffi cient. However, performance issues began as the hospital added clinical documentation in 2010 to improve quality of care and effi ciency.

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“Our nurses have everything they need on the cart, but it’s the bigger power draw that caused problems. Nurses sometimes had to change carts several times over the course of a shift to fi nd one with power, or take carts into the patient room and plug in,” says Ferguson. “It was especially frustrating when a workstation would lose power during a procedure, which meant that all data was lost and the nurse would have to start over.”

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As Hamilton began looking for solutions, the leadership team decided that Metro’s Flo workstations with upgraded power systems were the right choice. While the facility had used carts from several manufacturers, Metro emerged as the preferred brand, according to Terri Brown, R.N., nurs- ing director of medical services. The facility’s fl eet currently includes about 110 Metro Flo Series mobile computing workstations.

“Our nurses like the functionality of the work surface as well as the fl exibility to add baskets and drawers to the carts, and they’re very light and compact so it’s easy to move them in tight spaces over a 12-hour shift,” explains Brown. “The carts move quietly, which is an important issue – especially at night when patients are sleeping. They’re also easy to clean,

14 May 2012

s hospitals bring more technology to the point of care, ensuring reliable performance and full-shift runtimes becomes a critical issue. To offer the runtime and durable performance nurses need,

PHOTO COURTESY METRO

The Metro Flo Series utilizes Li-Nano power systems. Pictured is the Metro Flo 1770 with MetroMonitor.

which supports our infection-control needs, and they’ve proven to be highly durable and reliable compared with other carts we’ve tried. The carts also have good ergonom- ics because it is easy to adjust the height of the work surface and the monitor.” To make the shift to Li-Nano, the facility began adopting the advanced technology as it upgrades its workstation fl eet from older Flo 1750 units to the Flo 1760. Li-Nano’s cycle life rating of 5,000+ is 16 times more than conventional SLA and will typically last the duration of workstation’s lifespan, based on usage of 400-500 cycles per year. The power system outlasts the other technology on the workstation, such as the PC, which is typically every three or four years. Metro’s fully integrated workstations are designed to use power effi ciently, which further enhances the performance of the advanced Li-Nano chemistry. For instance, the DC

HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com

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