The trend toward healthcare workstation decentralization puts nurses at close range to their patients – enhancing the quality and quantity of care they are able to provide. It’s helping improve patient safety by preventing accidents such as falls while drastically reducing the number of steps a nurse takes each day – decreasing physical strain and fatigue on the nursing staff. This model makes sense, especially when you consider the aging nurse population – in which the average age of today’s nurse is 48.
Equipment and accessories designed with a focus on safety and efficiency will help improve patient, staff and resource outcomes. Here are three proven workstation options today’s medical environment must consider to remain relevant and comply with EMR mandates.
1) Mobile workstations
2) In-room, wall-mounted computer workstations
3) Wall desks
1. Mobile workstations: an on-the-go nursing station
Mobile workstation technology gives you anytime, anywhere secure computer access – bringing critical, up-to-date patient information right to the bedside. Computers on Wheels or COWs as they are sometimes referred to, can be positioned wherever desired within a room and can be moved from room to room with the caregiver for optimum efficiency. The ability to move a cart throughout a unit offers significant capital savings over wall-mounted options that are restricted to individual patient room use.
The mobile workstation cart makes it easy to administer medications with accuracy and punctuality. Boxfuls of meds can be stored within the cart’s lockable drawer and delivered directly, giving the nurse an opportunity to discuss the process start-to-finish with her patient. Medical drawers featuring a removable, compartmentalized insert provide quick and easy retrieval of important supplies such as medications, gloves, syringes and more. The desktop provides additional space for items – a nice feature in cluttered rooms.
2. In-room, wall-mounted computer workstations offer point-of-care convenience
Designed to get a patient involved in his or her care, wall-mounted computer stations are located inside patient rooms and are a great space-saving solution in both hospital and clinic settings. Ergonomically friendly, the workstation’s components are mounted on a central track for simple adjustment, making it easy to use from a sitting or standing position while accommodating users of varying heights.
What to look for:
- The position and height of the monitor and keyboard are easy to modify by sliding the equipment up or down the track.
- Workstations equipped with a swivel feature promote patient interaction by enabling caregivers to openly share test results and other medical information while also answering patient questions.
- Keyboard and mouse platform extensions that fold down provide easy storage when not in use, and width-adjustable CPU holders can conform to various-sized units.
Although it relieves staff from pushing around carts, the in-room workstation is not without several drawbacks. Outfitting each room with this kind of technology is a large, upfront capital expense. It can also cause IT headaches in making sure every patient room is up and running at all times, and it may present security issues if guests tamper with the machine.
The wall-mounted computer is a sensible solution for rooms of a finite number, such as exam rooms. Fitting flat against the wall, these in-room stations work especially well in the exam room where space is at a premium. It is important the station be situated as such so that the nurse does not have his or her back to the patient.
3. Wall desks: handy workstations for any location
These stationary desks can be conveniently located in the hall outside of patient or exam rooms, allowing nurses to do charting and other tasks near their patients. This desk “on-call” provides quick access to a convenient writing space and is a step-saving option that eliminates back-and-forth travel to a central nursing station after every patient visit.
The interior storage compartment is the ideal place to keep clipboards, patient binders, medical charts, prescription pads, x-rays, laptop computers, and other supplies close at hand. A fold-down door offers plenty of room for writing, charting, organizing, computing or conducting any activity requiring a flat sturdy work surface at a moment’s notice. Wall desks furnished with a retractable door, magnetic catch, smooth-gliding adjustable stays and an integral handle add further efficiency.
The Rise to Smaller, Decentralized Workstations and Charting Substations
Products designed to accommodate multiple users in a variety of scenarios while providing comfort and flexible function are most desired in the fast-paced hospital environment. Portable technology solutions that make nursing resources, accessories and equipment easily accessible and in close proximity to patients, while lending necessary EMR support, are in high demand.
When looking to implement products that support a decentralized workflow, healthcare and medical industry professionals should partner with a vendor that can comfortably facilitate the entire process – from interior space planning and equipment selection to delivery and installation.
Where to Begin
To begin a workstation transformation, choose a vendor that can comfortably facilitate the entire process, from interior space planning and equipment selection to delivery and installation. It’s critical that a healthcare facility select equipment and accessories designed with a focus on safety and efficiency. This approach will deliver the best results in terms of improving patient, staff and resource outcomes.
A complimentary White Paper titled MASTERING NURSING WORKFLOW EFFICIENCY: UNDERSTAND YOUR PRODUCT OPTIONS is available from National Business Furniture, a distributor of over 50,000 office furniture and accessory items. The report guides readers toward a better understanding of nursing station decentralization, its impact on workplace productivity and patient care and the types of products that can solve today’s real-world problems.
National Business Furniture (NBF) is a GPO contract participant and distributor of affordable, durable, healthcare-grade products from reputable brands. Free space planning and design services are available. Contact NBF at 800.558.1010, web code 421803 or visit www.nbf.com/nurse-station.
National Business Furniture was founded in 1975 and is a leading provider of furniture and equipment to large and small businesses, government institutions, healthcare facilities and educational organizations. Guided by the vision, “Furniture that Works. People who Care,” NBF provides exclusive products, fast shipping, expert service and a lifetime guarantee to thousands of loyal customers.
In 2006, NBF was acquired by K+K America, LLC, the leading group of business-to-business direct marketing companies in North America. For a free catalog, or to browse the complete selection of office furniture, such as desks, chairs, file cabinets, bookcases and reception furniture, visit https://www.NBF.com.
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