Boston Medical Center Case Study – Successful Emergency Cart Redesign & Standardization

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Located in Boston’s historic South End, Boston Medical Center (BMC) is a leading academic and trauma center with 567 beds. As the medical teaching affiliate for Boston University School of Medicine, BMC holds an expansive portfolio of medical services and training programs. The hospital faced significant challenges in standardizing and optimizing their decades-old emergency code carts, hindering workflow and patient safety. This case study examines how BMC tackled these issues to enhance functionality, organization, and emergency response time.

The Code Cart Conundrum

The primary challenge was the outdated and varied collection of emergency code carts originating from different facilities. They were inconsistent in terms of design, height, and functionality, posing workflow inefficiencies and complicating quick access to life-saving supplies and medications. The carts were difficult to maneuver and were regularly in need of repair.

A Collaborative Approach to Cart Standardization

To address these challenges, BMC initiated a quality improvement project led by a Code Committee composed of medical professionals from various departments. The committee was responsible for identifying issues with the existing carts and exploring design solutions that could standardize and optimize them. They focused on factors like maneuverability, functionality, durability, stability, secure access, and user-friendly design. Two different types of carts were rigorously tested and evaluated based on these parameters.


BMC selected the Avalo Emergency Cart from Capsa Healthcare for its superior design, functionality, and organization. Key features include:

  • The Avalo drawers and accessory placements are ergonomically designed to optimize visibility and workflow.
  • Drawers offer full access, remain closed during motion, and are clearly labeled for quick identification.
  • The breakaway locking handle secures contents yet allows for swift access during emergencies.
  • The cart is easy to move, stable, and securely parked when needed.

The redesign and standardization had an immediate impact on efficiency and patient safety, reducing time to administer medications and winning praise from clinicians.


BMC’s adoption of the Avalo Emergency Cart successfully addressed the longstanding inefficiencies plaguing their emergency code carts. This move not only enhanced functionality and security but also notably improved emergency response time, contributing to overall patient safety.

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