The mobile medical cart is a proven tool for improving efficiency in your healthcare facility. These versatile units are lightweight and ergonomically designed, making it simple to transport them between work spaces. Having supplies immediately available saves staff time and can save a patient’s life. However, having an improperly stocked cart renders these convenient tools useless. What should go into your laboratory equipment and instrument carts?

Supplies will vary depending on your department. Crash carts, surgery carts, critical care unit carts, and pediatric carts will each need their own types of supplies. What you find in the ER will differ from what you find on the typical hospital floor. Some items, though, should always be in your cart.

Bandaging and Tape

Items used for bandaging wounds and securing IV lines are typically kept within easy reach. Gauze, medical tape, Tegaderm, and bandages are used on a regular basis, and having these supplies on hand when needed allows your patients to get the care they need in a quick and efficient manner.


Common supplies kept on hand will vary depending on your department. Pain relievers, inhalers, eyedrops, sterile water, and Morphine may be helpful to keep on hand. Creams and ointments are also often kept within easy reach for regular use.

It can also be helpful to keep lifesaving medications within easy reach. Medications such as Adenosine, Epinephrine, or Cortisone are often kept on hand in Emergency Departments, or on crash carts. Medication carts, or medication drawers on your typical supply cart, are often kept locked with restricted access. This keeps medications secure and patients safe.


Intravenous lines are one of the most common types of medical tools used in the hospital and clinic setting. Sterile kits are often kept on hand for blood draws, fluids, and the administering of medications. Specimen collection tubes are also frequently kept on hand with IV tubing. This makes it simple and quick for staff to collect blood samples and continue care without interruption.

Other types of tubing include those needed for basic airway access. Oxygen masks, nasal cannulas, and endotracheal intubation kits should be kept accessible for patients who require assistance breathing.

How To Arrange My Cart?

Supplies used most frequently typically go toward the top, with the remaining supplies being stocked in the order of use. When supplies are frequently used together, such as tubing and bandaging, it can be useful to stock them close together. This saves time and confusion.

Many facilities follow a pre-selected order in stocking their carts. This takes the guesswork out of stocking and allows staff to work from any cart in the facility.

These procedures with your laboratory equipment and instrument carts will ensure you have the supplies on hand when needed. This will make patient care less stressful for staff, and lead to greater patient satisfaction overall. And that is something that benefits the entire facility.