A New Look At Mechanical Scales
Gone are the days when physicians had unlimited time to work patients. Now on average physicians spend approximately 18 minutes with each patient. The technician or nurse is likely to spend just slightly more in gathering information, particular with new patients or during the annual physical examination. Having equipment, including mechanical scales, which are practical and speed up patient processing is an important consideration. Just what features the scale needs to create a seamless patient experience depends on the type of practice and the number of patients seen per day.
Wheels are a major factor in busy settings where the mechanical scale will be moved to the patients or to different areas for centralized weighing. A good example of this would be moving the scale from unit to unit in a hospital or taking the scale to patient rooms in long term care facilities. The wheels on the scale typically allow the device to be tilted backwards, towards the operator, and moved using handle that is designed into the column. This prevents jarring or jolting the entire equipment if it is moved on or off of a trolley or cart. Systems that have the wheels are typically very stable and will not require calibration with every move unless the scale is dropped or banged into something with fairly significant force.
Measuring tools can also be found on a variety of different models of physician scales. The most common one is the measuring rod used to measure the user's height. Many companies offer these rods in handy fold down or sliding styles that can be tucked out of the way when not in use. They will also typically have both metric centimeters and standard inches on the measuring rod. The height measurement can be used to record in the patient chart and also used to calculate Body Mass Index or BMI.
New digital types of mechanical scales will calculate BMI and provide the score on a LED display. The scale automatically displays the weight of the individual in pounds or kilograms then, after the operator inputs the height, the system automatically provides the BMI. This saves times and limits calculation mistakes are common when medical staff is trying to gather patient data, complete measurements and do calculations all at the same time.
Readability is another consideration or feature on mechanical scales. Readability refers to the smallest increment of weight that is recorded on the device. For standard manual movement scales this is typically pounds. Digital options tend to have a much wider range. Increments tend to range from 1 gram and up, but for some options much smaller increments are possible. There are also models that change the readability based on the total weight. Lower weights will read in increments of one ounce or gram and then higher weights automatically move to read in two or five gram or ounce measures.
Cleaning mechanical scales is important consideration. It is essential to be able to quickly wipe down the device between use and as needed. Many models come with a platform that can be removed for thorough cleaning in the event of spills or contamination with body fluids. Many models provide a protective ledge that will catch any spills from the platform allowing for very easy cleaning and disinfecting. Smooth surfaces on the column and solid cover LED displays also prevents dirt, debris or liquids from collecting in the grooves around joints or buttons.
Taking a look through the various options, styles and features of the mechanical scales on the market will help in deciding which scale best meets your needs. Since this equipment is built to last spending a bit more and getting those extra features makes practical as well as economic sense.