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Pedigo’s Guide to Case Carts: Open, Closed, and Sealed Options

Correctly setting up for your surgical cases can be just as important as performing the procedure. Surgical case carts play a pivotal role in streamlining these processes by providing a reliable method for storing and transporting surgical instruments and supplies to and from the Sterile Processing Department (SPD). There are three primary types of surgical case carts: open, closed, and sealed. In this article, we will explore the best practices, uses, and benefits of each type, and highlight how Pedigo’s innovative designs can enhance your sterile processes. 

What is a case cart used for?

Surgical case carts are essential in medical settings for organizing, storing, and transporting surgical instruments and supplies to and from the SPD to the Operating Room (OR). They are designed to help maintain sterility and streamline surgical case setups, ensuring that everything needed for a procedure is readily accessible. Proper utilization of the right surgical case carts for your healthcare facility  can significantly improve the efficiency of your OR turnovers and SPD

Open Case Carts

Definition and Features

Open case carts are designed with open shelves, allowing easy access to instruments and supplies. These carts are often favored for their visibility and convenience.

Uses and Benefits

  • Visibility: Allows staff to see and retrieve needed items without opening doors or compartments.
  • Versatility: Can be used in various healthcare settings like distribution and instrument sterilization. 
  • Lightweight Design: Easy to maneuver and transport, reducing strain on staff and improving overall workflow efficiency.

Drawbacks

  • Exposure to Contaminants: Items on open shelves are more exposed to potential contaminants, which can compromise sterility.
  • Requires Some Sort of Sterile Coverage: The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, ANSI/AAMI ST79 6.4 clearly states expectations: “Contaminated items should be contained during their transport from the point of use to the decontamination area. …Containers, devices, or carts must be marked with a biohazard label or other means of identifying contaminated contents., For open case carts used in surgical settings, the best practice is to utilize a cart cover to keep the cases sterile.
  • Limited customizability: Open carts often have limited the ability to customize the cart, i.e. roll-out shelving, biohazard wheels, etc.

Closed Case Carts

Definition and Features

Closed case carts feature enclosed compartments with secure doors, providing enhanced protection for the contents inside. Closed case carts are the ideal choice for increased sterility maintenance when transporting surgical equipment. 

Uses and Benefits

  • Enhanced Sterility: Protects instruments and supplies from contaminants, maintaining a sterile environment.
  • Security: Keeps contents secure and reduces the risk of accidental spills or loss of items.
  • Durability: Designed to withstand the rigors of frequent loading and cleaning.
  • Shelving customizability: Most closed case cart manufacturers supply multiple shelving options to customize the cart to best suit your needs.

Drawbacks

  • Bulkiness: May be larger and more cumbersome to maneuver.

Sealed Case Carts

Definition and Features

Sealed case carts take the concept of closed case carts a step further by incorporating airtight seals around their compartments. Sealed case carts are often used when sterile processing is conducted off site from the healthcare facility where the surgical cases are taking place. 

Uses and Benefits

  • Ultimate Sterility: Sealed case carts provide the highest level of protection against contamination and spillage of biohazard material, making them ideal for off site sterile processing. 
  • Extended Storage: Instruments can be safely stored for longer periods without risk of contamination.

Drawbacks

  • Increased Cost: The advanced sealing technology can make these carts more expensive compared to standard closed case carts.
  • Handwashing: If your facility doesn’t have a cart wash, this cart will be more tedious to hand wash and sterilize. 

Choosing the Right Case Cart for Your Facility

When selecting the appropriate surgical case cart, it is essential to consider the unique needs and challenges of your facility. Factors such as the types of surgeries performed, your sterile processing processes, and where your sterile processing department is all play a critical role in this decision. Open, closed, and sealed case carts each offer distinct advantages and potential drawbacks, and understanding these can help you make an informed choice that enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of your hospital. 

Pedigo’s Case Carts

Pedigo’s surgical case carts are designed with these considerations in mind, offering solutions that cater to a wide range of healthcare environments and requirements. Here’s how our innovative designs can help improve your SPD processes and surgical outcomes. 

Multiple Options

As the leading case cart manufacturer, we offer many types of carts that best suit your staff and facilities needs. Some of our customers favorites are: 

  • Revolution case cart: An industry first, our revolution case carts feature cart doors with scratch-resistant windows, cool-touch handles, sealed ball bearing wheels, CartStat and more. This cart is ideal for customers with cart washes.
  • Gen-3 case cart: Our newest case cart, features an integrated body and floor for increased cart durability, new bumper design, cool touch handles, and roll-out shelves with two-position latch mechanisms. Ideal for customers who handwash their carts.
  • Sealed case carts: Carts are constructed from a corrosion resistant grade of stainless steel and built to STERILGARD Specifications. Learn more about our sealed case carts here.
  • Open carts: Fully-welded with high-grade stainless steel, our open carts offer the most versatility and durability for your healthcare facility needs. 

Customizable 

At Pedigo, we are committed to manufacturing lifetime value for our customers, which means we go above the norm to get you the right case cart for your facility and staff.

  • Shelving: We offer multiple different types of shelving options, such as wire, solid steel, roll out shelving and more. 
  • Size: All of our case cart lines offer a wide range of size options. 
  • Accessories: CartStat, corrosion resistant casters, security latches, automatic couplers and more accessories here
  • Wheels: Choose from our stainless steel or corrosion resistant wheels. In addition, we offer wheels with direction and total lock capabilities. 
  • Cart covers: Made with puncture resistant material and custom design for your healthcare facilities needs.

Conclusion

Selecting the appropriate surgical case cart is crucial for maintaining efficiency and sterility in the operating room. Whether opting for an open, closed, or sealed design, Pedigo offers a range of solutions tailored to meet the needs of various surgical settings. By maintaining sterility, enhancing your SPD’s efficiency, and exercising best practices, Pedigo’s surgical case carts are an essential addition to any medical facility.

Since our inception, we have been working with healthcare staff to design and manufacture quality, ergonomic case carts. As the needs of our customers have evolved through technology advances, the pandemic, etc, we have continued to innovate and enhance our products, ensuring they remain relevant and effective in an ever-changing landscape. 

For more information on how Pedigo’s surgical case carts can benefit your facility, please contact us. Enhance your SPD efficiency and ensure the best outcomes for your patients with Pedigo’s innovative solutions.

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