First established in 1921 as a multi-specialty group practice in Cleveland Ohio, Cleveland Clinic has since grown to become the world’s first integrated international health system. With various offices spread across the US from Nevada to Florida, this non-profit healthcare giant has also continued to expand its reach internationally over the past century, with offices now set-up in England, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Despite the organization’s sustained success, growth and achievement over the years, Cleveland Clinic remains committed to their original mission: caring for life, researching for health and educating those who serve.
The Client’s Issue:
When it comes to crash carts, there is no “one size fits all” solution that is sure to meet the needs of every medical professional or facility found within today’s industry. Healthcare specialists require a variety of crash carts for a variety of care-giving situations and sometimes require a custom-built product specifically designed to meet their unique needs. The need for a more customized crash cart is the exact issue that Cleveland Clinic found themselves facing recently, as they needed unique upgrades made to all the emergency carts in use at their US-based facilities.
While gathering feedback from their 60,000 caregivers, Cleveland Clinic realized that there were repetitive issues that seemed to frequently pop-up regarding the emergency carts used by staff throughout their numerous facilities. One of the biggest issues that kept arising for their emergency staff was that many caregivers – due to the increased height of today’s stretchers – needed assistance gaining proper leverage while performing chest compressions. Cleveland Clinic also needed an emergency cart that more clearly listed instructions and available inventory, offered more storage space without restricting access to stored supplies, had electrical cord access for carts’ bottom drawers and offered a dual breakaway lock bar system that would divide up two separate sections of drawers.
No matter where they looked or who they called, Cleveland Clinic was unable to find an existing emergency cart that would eliminate all the issues they were trying to resolve. Seeing as how no medical cart manufacturer offered the perfect product that would alleviate every issue their staff were commonly facing with their emergency carts, Cleveland Clinic realized they would need a custom solution that was engineered just for them. Cleveland Clinic found themselves not just looking for a new emergency cart but for a new partner who could engineer their ideal emergency cart dream into a reality, which led them to eventually contacting Harloff.
Helping To Find A Solution:
After discussing the issues they were facing at their facilities, it didn’t take us long to see that although there was no existing, immediate answer to instantly resolve all the issues Cleveland Clinic was facing we also realized it wouldn’t take us long to engineer the perfect solution for them. Utilizing the cabinet of one of our standard MDS3030 M-Series models featuring a 30” wide cabinet with 30” of vertical drawer space, our engineering and sales teams worked hand-in-hand to develop custom enhancements that would result in the perfect emergency cart for Cleveland Clinic.
To eliminate the height/leverage issue while performing chest compressions, a custom step stool holder was inserted underneath each cart in addition to a small step stool that easily slid firmly into place. This ensured that all Cleveland Clinic emergency care staff could instantly access a step stool if needed for improved leverage whenever a patient required heart compressions. Despite this being the first time Harloff had ever tried storing an accessory underneath a cart, the step stool integrated perfectly with our standard MDS3030 cart’s cabinet.
In order to make cart instruction and inventory count documents more visible to staff, we developed Harloff’s first clear, acrylic top. This new custom accessory was easily placed atop each emergency cart and thanks to its clear acrylic build, any cart instructions or inventory count documents secured under the translucent top could still easily be read by staff. This made it much easier for Cleveland Clinic staff to keep track of supplies within their emergency carts while also making cart instructions much easier to view/access.
Cleveland Clinic wanted easier access and more room for the exchange trays kept within their crash carts’ drawers, so we developed an extended version of our standard drop shelf accessory which was affixed to the side of every cart. The foldable, extended drop shelf was capable of holding multiple exchange trays at a time which would not only open up much more drawer space within the carts, but also grant easier access to the exchange trays once placed atop the foldable shelf.
Perhaps the easiest customization request to fulfill for Cleveland Clinic was creating an access point in each cart’s bottom drawer for electrical cords. This was achieved by simply adding a hole in the back wall of both the cabinet and bottom drawer where an electrical cord could easily go in and out of. This custom design allowed for defibrillators (commonly kept in the bottom drawers) to be plugged-in so they were always ready for use in sudden emergency situations.
Another key upgrade implemented on these emergency carts was creating a dual breakaway lock bar system, something that most medical cart manufacturers within today’s industry lack the custom capabilities to engineer. Cleveland Clinic wanted their drawers separated into two sections with an individual breakaway lock bar designated for each drawer section as their policies state that whenever a lock bar on their emergency carts is opened, all drawers behind that lock bar must be checked for proper inventory levels. With two breakaway lock bars implemented, only the drawers in the opened section had to be rechecked for supplies which eliminated extra time spent to unnecessarily recheck drawers’ supply inventory that didn’t really need it.
The final upgrade we made to Cleveland Clinic’s custom crash carts was installing a three-section glove box holder within each cart’s drawers. This was because staff had noted on more than one occasion that when glove box holders were affixed to carts in the more traditional manner (attached to the outside of the cart), gloves were frequently being taken by non-emergency staff leaving emergency personnel with a depleted – and sometimes nonexistent – supply of gloves. Inserting glove box holders within the drawers kept emergency personnel’s gloves more secured from others passing by the cart and ensured that they had a much steadier, consistent stock of gloves with their emergency carts.
Our custom-enhanced cart for Cleveland Clinic was such a hit that it is now being implemented within all their US offices as a key part of their emergency cart inventory. No longer do their staff have to worry about not having enough leverage space to properly carry out chest impressions. No longer do their staff struggle or waste time to unnecessarily check supply inventory. No longer do their staff wish for increased storage space and quicker access to essential supplies. In order for their staff to reach optimum efficiency, Cleveland Clinic needed a custom emergency cart specifically designed to meet their unique needs. Only Harloff was capable of answering the call to provide them with exactly what they needed, and we were happy to help!
Top photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic