Points to Consider When Standardizing on Medical Scales
As hospital systems seek to improve costs and operational efficiencies in purchasing capital products, one seemingly basic and perhaps overlooked piece of equipment is the medical scale. However, weight data is an important part of the diagnostic process, both when a patient checks in and throughout a hospital stay. As a result, medical scales for the acute care market must incorporate significant design features that one may not notice from a casual glance.
For starters, weighing systems for hospitals must be reliable and rugged as they are used dozens of times per day, 365 days per year. Next, they must take advantage of technology upgrades and incorporate these features to increase their value-add in the purchasing decision. Newer features such as digital displays, improved accuracy, space-saving wall mount designs, EHR ready, higher weight capacity with easy-to-stand-on platforms, and antimicrobial product protection, are all important advances in today’s medical scales.
When investigating new scales, department leaders can provide valuable input when selecting a scale manufacturer, as each department has its own requirements for medical scales. A few points to consider include, but are not limited to:
For Hospital Purchasing Managers:
- What is the product warranty?
- What is the life expectancy of the scale?
- Can you purchase directly from the manufacturer?
- Where are the scales manufactured?
- How long has the manufacturer been in business?
For Biomedical Engineers:
- What is the product durability?
- Can the manufacturer provide options for customizing scales that would better meet the needs of your facilities, staff, and patients?
- Are the scales easy-to-set up, install, and maintain?
- How quickly can the manufacturer deliver new scales? Days or weeks?
- Are replacement parts readily available from the manufacturer’s inventory?
For Nursing Directors:
- If standardizing on multiple types of scales across entire hospital systems, do all the scale displays operate the same way?
- Are the scales easy-to-use, enabling a fast learning curve for your staff?
- Are the scales light weight for easy and safe transport and usage?
- How easy is it for patients to stand or access the weighing platforms?
- Is there sufficient weight load capacity, such as 1,000 lbs., across all scales to accurately weigh larger patients as well as those using motorized wheelchairs or on stretchers?
- Can scales be ordered locked in KG-only mode?
For Infection Prevention Managers:
- Is antimicrobial product protection an option or a standard from the manufacturer?
- How many scales incorporate antimicrobial product protection?
- Does the manufacturer offer just a limited number of scales with antimicrobial product protection or does the antimicrobial coverage span multiple product lines?
- How extensive is the antimicrobial product protection on the scale - what surface areas of the scale are covered?
In reviewing these and other considerations from your department leaders can provide valuable insights as you weigh your options on standardizing on medical scales throughout your facilities.
About SR Instruments
SR Instruments manufactures SR Scales – highly accurate weighing systems made in the USA that efficiently gather and manage weight data for medical professionals to make better decisions. SR Scales enable hospitals to help drive costs down by producing longer-lasting scales. SR backs up its quality with the industry’s longest warranty – FOUR YEARS. The result is that medical personnel can have weighing systems that provide durable and repeatable accuracy for many years, while purchasing departments can potentially spend fewer resources on frequent scale purchases. SR Scales now come standard with antimicrobial product protection.