FDA issues warning for battery-powered mobile medical carts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to healthcare facilities on Dec. 27, 2016, of potential safety risks associated with battery-powered mobile medical carts, noting that it is aware of reports of “explosion, fires, smoking, or overheating of equipment that required hospital evacuations associated with the batteries in these carts.” Battery-powered mobile medical carts include crash carts, medication dispensing carts, and carts that carry and power medical devices for point of care, barcode scanners, and patient monitoring. These carts typically have high-capacity lithium or lead acid batteries that can power medical devices and workstations (computers) for many hours.

The FDA recommends that healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities take the following steps to help reduce the potential for injury to patients, staff, and visitors.

Preventative maintenance of battery-powered mobile medical carts:

  • Inspect batteries for signs of damage, including bulging, swelling, or cracks.
  • Notify the manufacturer of damaged batteries.
  • Inspect battery chargers and carts containing chargers for overheating components.
  • Vacuum to remove dust and lint around battery chargers and carts containing chargers.
  • Do not use batteries that do not charge properly. Ensure that batteries are replaced at the manufacturer-recommended replacement intervals.
  • Conduct a survey of battery charger locations, and verify that all chargers are located in easily visible, fire-retardant locations away from patient care areas and open sources of oxygen.
  • Do not install chargers or charging carts in confined spaces.
  • Keep flammable and explosive objects away from battery chargers and charging carts.
  • Request preventative maintenance documentation from the cart manufacturer for the healthcare facility to use.

If a battery in a mobile medical cart catches fire while charging or in use:

  • Immediately report the fire according to your hospital protocol.
  • Follow hospital protocol for addressing a Class C electrical fire.
  • Do not touch the battery.
  • Unplug the charger or power off the cart if it is safe to do so.
  • Remove the cart from patient and visitor areas as safely as possible.

General recommendations for battery-powered mobile medical carts:

  • Do not block any charging station vents.
  • Do not tape or attach any object or material to a battery charger.
  • Only operate and store the battery charger and cart with charger outside of patient rooms and in non-patient care areas.
  • Contact the manufacturer if there is a problem with any component of this system. This alerts the manufacturer of a potential product concern.
  • Request maintenance and user manuals for the carts, chargers, batteries, and all accessories.

Before purchasing these carts, establish the necessary
criteria that meet your facility needs:

  • Meets battery standards for use in a hospital environment.
  • Preventative and maintenance documents to be supplied to facilities.

Visit FDA for the complete warning at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/.

Microsoft Surface gets turbocharged

H1702Workstations-Microsoft-Surface-Book-PBaseMicrosoft recently announced that its most powerful Surface Book yet, called the Surface Book with Performance Base, will pack 16 hours of battery life into an ever-so-slightly thicker and heavier package than the original. Sporting a 13.5-inch screen, the 2-in-1 tablet/notebook will also feature more than twice the GPU processing power than the original Surface Book. It features an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M GPU with 2GB of video RAM, and 256 or 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe SSD. Totally new is the Surface Dial tool, a standalone companion for, or alternative to, the Surface Pen. Preorder now at the Microsoft Store.

H1702-Workstations-GCX-Patient-Engagement1-1Case Study: Integrate tablets and laptops to improve the patient experience

Selecting the appropriate tools and technology to meet today’s patient experience strategies is vital. If a tablet device for patient use is part of that strategy, safe and effective integration of the tablet is essential. GCX’s suite of tablet mounting solutions for patient engagement helps provide the tools to engage patients to participate in their healthcare—and to stay connected with their physicians and families. Successful integration of tablets is an important factor in the success of the patient experience program and can contribute to increased utilization by patients.

H1702-Workstations-GCX-Patient-Engagement2In one application at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, the GCX Patient Engagement Table has enabled long-term ICU patients to use mobile devices to connect to support systems and engage in their recovery. The unique patient engagement system supports a laptop directly overhead of immobile patients and uses eye-gazing technology that allows the eye to operate like a mouse to access websites, social media, and other computer- and web-based data. This enables patients to learn about their condition, research equipment they’ll need once back at home, and participate in other activities that help them feel engaged in their care and connected to the world outside. The specially designed Patient Engagement System also allows patients to resume making independent choices (such as what kind of ambient music to play in their room), to return to leisure activities such as ordering movies, and to connect with support systems by making a Skype or Facetime call and writing and emailing letters. GCX



H1702Workstations-AFC-Lockable-Tablet-CartsKeep your mobility edge with lockable tablet solutions

More flexible and bedside-friendly than even small laptops, tablets aim to promote safer, better, and faster care by enabling doctors and other caregivers to educate and involve their patients in the process. Showing high-quality images, videos, and presentations can help especially. Enter the AFC Tablet Cart with a lockable, tamper-resistant, full-metal-jacket case created specifically to hold a tablet or iPad. This feature-rich tablet cart includes pneumatic height-adjustment settings of 28 to 44 inches from the floor for comfortable sit-to-stand settings; stability and ease of movement provided by five, 4-inch twin casters; a pole-mount Z-arm with 12-inch extension; a metal enclosure for storage; a left- or right-side sliding mouse tray; and a small 23-inch footprint. The tablet enclosure is fully customizable to fit your particular model. Custom colors are available. AFC

H1702Workstations-Ergotron-StyleViewS-Tablet-CartSV10Let your Surface travel in style

Ergotron’s nimble, lightweight StyleView SV10 accommodates a Microsoft Surface tablet with an innovative interface that holds and positions the screen on a steady worksurface that uses embedded magnets for click-in tablet stability. Place the Surface in one of three secure positions: left, right, or center. There is room to spare for a mouse or task-related items. The cart’s patented lift engine easily adjusts the platform and screen to exactly the right height for whatever task is at hand, with 15 inches of vertical travel for seated and standing use. The t-slot channel interface on the cart’s column allows for customization by integrating accessories, such as a sani-wipes holder, storage bin, or add-on power options. This unit also features sturdy and safe metal construction and smooth, easily cleanable surfaces. A convenient storage compartment for a power brick or AC adapter is hidden yet easily accessed. Ergotron

7920WALKArooSlimlineMobileWorkstationSpace-saving, benefit-packed mobile workstation

The Carstens 7920 WALKAroo Slimline Mobile Workstation keeps productivity rolling, even in confined and busy areas. Its small footprint, paired with smooth movement and sharp turning, makes it ideal for navigating corridors and getting into tight spaces to reach patients for assessments. It is versatile in that it can be equipped with either a tilting monitor mount or a tablet mount to easily integrate with EHR systems.

The 7920 WALKAroo has an easy-to-clean, seamless worksurface to reduce the spread of bacteria and can be outfitted with glove-box holders for added convenience. An additional benefit is that it is made of aluminum and will not rust. Carstens

H1702Workstations-CapsaSolutions-Carelink-XPIntelligent mobile nurse workstation

The CareLink Nurse Workstation elevates mobile computing to the next level, improving communications by providing touchscreen shortcuts and resources at a clinician’s fingertips, effortless maneuverability with N-Stride steer assist, and fully configurable storage and organization options. N-Sight, CareLinks’ intelligent platform, provides a proactive and independent cart fleet management software with new enhancements in the works, including active directory, alerts, exports, and cart locator. This solution provides an intuitive, flexible platform connecting IT to nursing, with ergonomic features and workflow solutions that enable clinicians to focus on what’s important: the delivery of patient care. Capsa Solutions


H1702Workstations-Humanscale-Medlink1Efficient and secure medication delivery

MedLink is an innovative medication delivery solution that streamlines complex nursing workflows and complements bedside medication administration to reduce errors and improve outcomes. It features auto-closing and patient-assigned drawers that lock/unlock individually via the system’s software; electronic drawer labeling pulled from the existing hospital patient list; bar code scanning that allows scanning the patient wristband to automatically open the correct drawer; customizable drawer configurations; Power Track steering; and Auto Fit technology that instantly adjusts to each caregiver’s height with a single touch. Humanscale Healthcare