There are different types of scales employed to accurately weigh patients. Different types of patients have different needs, and the scales used to weigh them must have features that accommodate these differences.
For example, at a pediatrician’s office, a normal platform type scale made for industrial use will easily do the trick. It is important however that the scale be digital. Although many doctor’s offices still carry older analog or mechanical scales, replacing them with digital ones represent a huge advancement in many respects.
Mechanical scales must be manipulated by hand; a person moves each weight from one side of the scale to the other until the indicator stabilizes, signaling that a state of balance has been reached by the device. Only after this has happened can the operator record the weight of the patient. This process introduces all sorts of errors into the equation. The accuracy of the patient’s weight becomes dependent on the skill level of the person operating the mechanism.
When it comes to monitoring patients weights so that appropriate care can be provided, inaccuracy is a big concern. If we take the example of the pediatrician’s office alone, we can establish that accurate weights are needed to: monitor children’s healthy growth into target weight ranges, monitor overweight and/or obese children who will need additional services, monitor rapid weight gain or weight loss that often signals that something more serious may be affecting the patient’s body, monitoring underweight newborns such as premature babies for targeted continuing care, to be able to prescribe the correct amount of medication to younger, smaller bodies, to monitor the patient’s progress after a surgery or during a serious illness such as cancer, and the list goes on.
We haven’t even considered the ramifications of incorrect weight readings for any other discipline outside of pediatrics alone!
Therefore, it is important to get the right type of scale for a medical office. Any practice that has not upgraded to a digital scale should get one. You should additionally get one that will last as long as possible to keep down your long term costs. This means buying one made of the most durable metals. The load sensors embedded in the scale should also be made of stainless steel also. Any other type will possibly permanently warp under a heavy load, such as a patient who has to be weighed while sitting in a wheelchair.
Bariatric patients and those who cannot support their own weight due to injury and/or illness must be able to be either wheeled onto the scale, or have support bars to hold onto while they are standing on it. The height profile of the scale platform is also important. It should not be higher than 1 7/8 inches high for utmost ease. In addition, ramps on either side may be necessary for rolling onto the scale’s platform. A digital readout will provide accurate, easy to read measurements on a 1 inch high LCD screen.
At ArlynScales, we make only the highest quality scales for weighing patients. They are rugged enough to stand up to years of use, and sophisticated enough to do more than just take weight readings for you. We can load the display mechanism with software that will remotely send the weight results to a database on a PC in the office, such as the patient’s electronic medical record.
Contact us today to see how our how our patient weighing systems can upgrade your workflow.