3. Must Haves
Some basic tools should be available, including both Philips and flathead screwdrivers, common wrench sizes, and any other tools related to your specific carts.
You also might want to consider having on hand replacements for parts that receive a lot of wear and tear, including casters, slides, and narc and cabinet locks. You always need your carts to roll easily, the drawers to operate seamlessly, and locks to do their job. Having these parts on standby ensures you can quickly bring your carts back to just about new in no time flat.
Access is everything! We recommend you make sure the master key and control key are secure while also being easily accessible for authorized staff members.
4. An Ounce of Prevention
… is worth a pound of cure! This proverb reminds us that avoiding something is easier than repairing damage after the fact. Preventative maintenance on your carts can help prevent certain maintenance emergencies that will affect your staff and patient care.
Annually, we recommend using Triflow to lubricate the locks on your carts. Graphite, grease, and oils should not be used as they will attract dirt, dust, and particles causing the locks to fail.
For jammed or stuck locks (meaning the key will not turn), use WD-40 which will remove dirt and particles that have built up over time. Keep in mind that doing so will also remove lubrication, so once each lock is operational again, follow up with Triflow.
Most casters have sealed precision bearings that require no maintenance and will last the lifetime of your carts. If your manufacturer does not provide these types of casters, we suggest you ask for them. They don’t add much to the cost but are significantly better.
Regularly, you should test the drawers, listening for a scraping sound or a feeling of resistance when fully extending the slide. If you find either, the slides need to be replaced.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Restore
Is there a “boneyard” of carts in your facility? You can make them into a usable fleet again through restoration! Some cart providers (including us) will assist you with instructions and easy-to-order parts that will allow you to replace nearly everything on them. You can swap these restored carts with those that look worn and may make a bad impression on clients. Also, aging carts are more prone to frequent part failures, but swapping them for restored carts provides your facility with peace of mind and carts that work like new.
6. Make Sure You Receive the Right Part
There is nothing more frustrating than when you’re trying to repair a cart and you receive the wrong part. To avoid this, make sure you have the serial number, use manuals and website forms to describe exactly what you need, and don’t be shy about asking for assistance when choosing parts and placing your order.
You’ll want to ask if the part(s) are covered under warranty too. From our experience, quality components will be covered for 5 years. By monitoring the cost of replacement parts, you may find the carts with the lowest prices actually cost more in the long run when trying to maintain and extend the life of them.
Keep your medication carts working for you as long as possible by following these 6 fundamentals. As always, if you have any questions about cart maintenance or adding to your fleet, contact us!