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● Strategic Directives Empowering your


front-line workers Five essential features to consider when purchasing mobile workstations. By Jason Free, Features Editor


to operate? Do they spend valuable time during staff meet- ings discussing workaround strategies to overcome power or accessibility issues? Do they express a need for expanded features such as telehealth and cart fl eet management? T e answers to these questions reveal not only your employees’ satisfaction but also, to a great degree, your facility’s level of patient care as well. Below are fi ve of the most important, yet often overlooked, considerations that ought to be made before purchasing a mobile workstation.


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1. Ergonomics No matter how impressive a given mobile workstation may appear in a brochure or exhibition hall, if it is not designed to reduce operator fatigue and discomfort, its real value is negligible at best. Ken Kapica, Marketing Director of AFC Industries, states, “Most healthcare facilities think that ‘one size fi ts all’, but this is not true. As varied as the patient population is, so is the workforce. Carts must be ergonomic and height-adjust- able to comfortably fi t as many end-user employees as possible. T is will help to overcome the biggest complaint, which is back, wrist and shoulder diffi culties or repetitive stress injuries.” Given the inherent physical demands of patient


care – the long hours on your feet; the near constant interaction with scores of patients; the stress of dealing with emergencies – it is imperative that front-end staff can easily and accurately operate bedside equipment. AFC PC Cart 500 with battery T e goal of any administrator


14 February 2014


here does your front-line staff ’s level of satisfaction rank in terms of its current mobile workstations? Do they complain about how cumbersome or “tricky” they are


should be to equip his or her staff with ergo- nomic tools that maxi- mize comfort, prevent repetitive stress injuries, reduce eyestrain and improve overall work effi ciencies. T ese attributes are manifest in the AFC PC (Point of Care) Cart series. T is cart


series is height-adjustable to enable computer use while the user is standing or seated. Due to their small footprint and large casters, advanced computer technology is available to staff in almost any location within a facility. With these carts, your front-line workers are able to perform their critical duties without the additional stress of grappling with their equipment.


2. Facility Layout While mobile workstations can off er a great deal of options in terms of maneuverability and point-of-care interactions, the layout of a facility is often an infl exible structure that will dictate the nature and function of most of your frontline tools. Michael Couch, Marketing Manager for Medical Case- work and Care Exchange Products at Midmark, elaborates on this point when he states, “Understanding the needs for the facility is key to making good choices in workstation prod- ucts. [As an administrator] if my need is for a room workfl ow and the workstation will not leave the room, the expectation is diff erent from a workstation that needs to be accessible at any point along a corridor or fl oor. One choice may have limited accessories because it is more about having access to the EMR/EHR and that is it, where the other option may need to be more robust because of the additional technology that is attached or used with the primary PC, and the need for these items to have continuous power throughout the day or possibly 24 hours a day can drive diff erent needs.” Prior to purchasing new mobile workstations, a clear workfl ow map must be created that incorporates the facility’s front lobby,


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