Medical weight scales are elements of essential medical equipment that are so ubiquitous that they are usually taken for granted in many clinical settings. Yet failure to pay close attention to their properties and characteristics can lead to everything from misdiagnoses to failure to notice symptoms altogether. But what exactly are the vital aspects of medical scales that need to be considered when considering the purchase of new equipment of this type? The answers to this question may surprise you.
Principle Concerns in Medical Weighing
If asked, most healthcare facility buying managers would likely identify miscalibration and basic weight measuring inaccuracy as the main factors to consider when evaluating medical scales for buy and use in their clinics. And while that is undoubtedly a crucial component to factor into any scale’s quality assessment, it’s really just the start.
When it comes to the practical concerns that must be met in order for a scale to be up to the demands of a current medical facility, there are really some factors to be aware of:
The Risk of Falls
Many patients in the clinical environment are elderly or persons with limited and impaired mobility. They may even be taking treatment that compromises their ability to remain steady on their feet and keep their balance. This can result in patients falling while trying to access the weighing device, which poses a risk to them and the clinical staff.
Medical scales have now been developed to address this concern and reduce such hazards. The new designs include very low platforms along with “live” railing that allows patients to keep themselves stable while still being accurately weighed.
The wider platforms now also help patients to find just the correct position that permits them to be both comfortable and secure – therefore protecting themselves – and staff who may be injured in attempting to prevent them from falling.
Accuracy Concerns with Higher or Lower Weights
Physicians regularly prescribe medications based on patient weights. Unfortunately, many medical scales lose accuracy as loads increase, which comes when healthcare centers are treating increased numbers of obese and overweight patients.
As the risk of contracting infections in hospitals continues to be a concern for clinical staff, medical scale manufacturers have started to address the threat posed by multiple uses of potentially contagious patients by using silver-based antimicrobial materials in handrails and other high contact areas.
This, along with antimicrobial powder coatings, is helping medical facilities to reduce cross contamination during weighing procedures with medical scales.
Importance of Standardization
With patients usually being weighed several times in different treatment rooms, using different types of scales has often resulted in different results. Many hospitals and healthcare centers are now shifting toward Integrated Delivery Networks. They are significantly helped by employing calibration methods and standard scales to help ensure consistency throughout the clinical environment.