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What to Look For in a Case Cart

What to Look For in a Case Cart

Finding the ideal surgical case cart comes with many different questions to be asked, boxes to be checked off, and approvals from management. So, what should you be looking for when purchasing a new case cart? While there are some qualities that you will find in nearly all case carts like their ability to be portable, there are some characteristics to look for that make a significant difference but are not a specification some hospitals know to be looking for. Being in the healthcare equipment manufacturing industry for over 75 years, Lakeside has been able to hear directly from operators on what they need out of their equipment which has allowed us to perfect our case cart design. 

Case carts come in many shapes and sizes, but these three cart specifications make a noticeable difference in functionality and efficiency within operations. Compiled below, these three main differentiating qualities are outlined to help you find a cart that will provide a durable space for sterile supplies and equipment to be stored in your OR for many years to come. 


A case cart’s main duty is to provide a safe and sterile place for medical instruments to be stored. There are a variety of sizes and styles case carts are available to meet your facility’s needs, but one thing they all have in common is security. While many case carts are advertised to be secure, make sure to take a look into the security and lock system on the cart to see the level of security it offers. Making sure these carts are only able to be accessed to specific staff if extremely important and having the proper locking system ensures that. 

Here’s what to look for in the locking system when reviewing specifications before purchase. Make sure the lock is permanently attached to the cart to maximize security. Many carts come with a lock attacked and welded right to the door latch which provides the ultimate safety. Tamper sealed doors are another feature to look for in a new case cart. This helps to ensure supplies remain sterile before they are needed to safeguard against cross-contamination. While this covers the outer safety of the cart, taking a look at the inner safety is also important. 

Depending on your needs, various shelf types of sizes can be in a case cart and usually are able to pull-out. Having pull-out shelves allows for increased efficiency but making sure they remain in place when pulled out helps to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Drawers that have a locking mechanism ensure that no matter if that shelf is pulled out or not, it will remain in place and not move unless unlocked and prompted to do so. The security level of a case cart is a number one priority, so make sure to look for these specifications. 

enclosed case cart security

Worker Safety:

It is important to have a secure and durable structure but that means nothing if it is not a functional safe piece of equipment to maneuver and operate with. There are many basic features case carts have to ensure worker safety is a priority including swivel casters for easy maneuverability and ergonomically designed handles to make transporting less straining. While these are features seen on many case carts, there are other features that add to worker safety and should be considered when purchasing a new case cart. If more than one medical case cart needs to be towed at once, electric power tugs should be added to the operation. With this, carts will need to have heavy-duty towing casters and hitch added to aid in the efficiency and safety of this form of transport. 

Another worker safety feature that Lakeside case carts have is their all-welded stainless steel structure that ensures no nuts and bolts are extruded from the cart that could cause harm to the operator. Not only does this provide for worker safety, but also makes the surgical case cart stronger, easier to clean and sanitize, and corrosion and stain resistant, helping increase the longevity of the cart’s lifespan. Worker safety is a top priority when examining new equipment. These features can help foster a safe work environment at your hospital. 

two healthcare workers conversing

Workflow Changes:

In the healthcare field, workflows can change often to increase patient satisfaction and operational efficiency. With this, being able to seamlessly make these workflow changes go smoothly is vital. In relation to case carts, a specific cart may be needed for various types of procedures over a month. Having different accessories to add onto the cart for various types of procedures helps allow these shifts to be done smoothly all while being able to utilize the same cart for various needs. Accessories are nothing new to case carts but having accessories that can be attached and detached without tools is ideal and something to look for when purchasing a new one. 

Knowing what type of procedures your new cart will be used for will help guide this entire process. Being able to configure a cart to your ideal specifications can help aid in this decision process. Whether this is choosing what type of shelving you’d like, or the number of shelves needed, these decisions play a key role in what company is chosen to purchase the new cart from. Lakeside offers various standard configuration options as well as specializing in customized carts to meet exact needs. Workflow changes can be a bottleneck for some operations but using the right equipment that can make these transitions more seamless. 

operating room graphic

Case carts play a vital role in the OR room. Having the right case cart for your exact needs that offers security, provides for worker safety, and allows for easy workflow changes helps to increase efficiency within your operations. Lakeside has a wide selection of standard and configurable case carts with varying features. Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for? Reach out to us about customizing a cart to fit your exact needs!