Pediatric crash carts are a vital piece of equipment for the safety of young patients in hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and any other facility that may have to deal with a rapid health deterioration. Crash carts hold all of the supplies necessary to treat a patient in an emergency situation. For crash carts to truly be effective, they must be organized, standardized across the facility, and frequently stocked and checked to ensure all the supplies are readily available. Standardizing the pediatric crash carts at a healthcare facility has immense benefits and can lead to saving the life of a young patient in a health emergency.
What is Standardization?
To put it simply, standardization means reducing unnecessary variation in a process. In the healthcare setting there are many different processes that can be standardized to improve the overall efficiency of a facility. For example, exam rooms are a great case study for the benefits of standardization in healthcare. Some older practices give each physician their own exam room and allow them to set it up how they like. Traditionally, this hasn’t been a huge issue, but healthcare is more in demand nowadays, and the need for efficiency has increased. Therefore, standardizing all the exam rooms and setting them up in the same layout with the exact same supplies creates flexibility for who works in which space. This allows for extra efficiency because a doctor can work in any of the rooms that are not occupied, rather than having to wait for their specific room. This makes it possible to see more patients in a shorter amount of time and creates better overall efficiency of care.
The same principal applies to standardizing crash carts. When a medical emergency arises, there is no time to spare. Staff must be able to get all the necessary supplies to save a life in the shortest amount of time possible. Standardizing a facility’s crash carts is the best way to save time in these high-stress situations and therefore becomes the best way to save a patient’s life. Every cart should be set up and stocked in the same way, as well as frequently checked to ensure all the supplies are ready to go.
How to Properly Standardize Crash Carts
Crash carts are designed to contain all the supplies needed to treat a patient who experiences a sudden medical emergency. They are also designed to allow the staff to be able to understand exactly where the supplies or medications they need will be. Many crash carts, especially pediatric crash carts use a color system to divide the supplies in an organized and easy to understand way. Lakeside’s Pediatric Crash Cart uses this color system to make things easier on healthcare staff and allow them to focus on the patient rather than finding the right supplies.
Crash carts should be standardized across a facility, meaning that they should all be set up with the same supplies and equipment and organized in the same way. The color-coding system makes this easy to do. In addition to ensuring that all the supplies are in the right spot, staff should be trained on the carts so that they know them like the back of their hand. This allows them to focus their energy on the patient and not have to think twice about finding the supplies or equipment that they need in the moment.
What are the Benefits of Standardizing Crash Carts?
Standardizing crash carts has various benefits but the most noticeable is the improved efficiency that it creates for a healthcare facility. Emergencies can be taken care of more smoothly when all the supplies are in the correct spots. Sudden medical emergencies are inherently very stressful situations but having a well-organized and stocked crash cart will help take some of the stress out of the equation. Patients are always the first priority and having a crash cart ready to go at all times allows staff to truly focus all of their energy on the patient. Rather than wasting critical time looking for the supplies in the case of an emergency, staff can spend that time treating the patient and using those supplies that are already prepared for them
During a medical emergency there is no time to waste and crash carts save this valuable time. A study was conducted by the University of Kentucky to examine if well-stocked crash carts along with well-trained staff convert into time savings. The conclusions that they reached were that standardizing crash cart design greatly reduced the time to find supplies in these high-stress, high-risk situations. Additionally, the study found that this was accomplished with reduced financial cost. It is noted that refresher training was required over time as skill degradation did occur with the staff. It’s always a smart idea to have regular refresher training sessions with staff in order to curb the stress levels as much as possible in an emergency. The full parameters for the study can be found here.
To put it in simple terms, standardization works. Standardizing pediatric crash carts is especially important for facilities and can potentially save a life that could’ve otherwise been lost due to lost time spent looking for supplies.
Lakeside understands the importance of standardized equipment in healthcare facilities and will work with you to help accomplish this goal. Check out our full line of crash carts, and get in touch with us to figure out how we can improve your facility’s efficiency through the standardization of mobile equipment!