Vol. 3 No. 11 (2023)
Health Technology Reviews

Case Carts in Surgical Settings

Published November 7, 2023

Key Messages

What Is the Issue?

Case carts are commonly used in perioperative practice to transport surgical instruments and supplies to and from surgical settings in a timely manner. Open case carts are easy to manoeuvre and clean, while closed case carts effectively contain both sterile and contaminated surgical supplies during transport. Appropriate selection of case carts for surgical settings may support effective workflow processes, infection prevention and control measures, and personnel safety.

What Did We Do?

To inform decisions about appropriate selection of case carts, CADTH sought to identify and summarize the literature comparing infection control and personnel safety between open and closed case carts. An information specialist conducted a search of peer-reviewed and grey literature sources. CADTH also attempted to identify guidelines about the appropriate use of case carts in surgical settings.

What Did We Find?

No studies directly evaluating the comparative clinical effectiveness of open versus closed case carts or guidelines concerning their use in surgical settings were identified that met the inclusion criteria for this review. Research focused on the management of infection control and prevention and personnel safety is needed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of open and closed case carts and inform guidance concerning the selection of open versus closed case carts in surgical settings.

What Does It Mean?

Without any comparative effectiveness evidence, decision-makers may want to consider the organizational features (e.g., sterile processing workflow systems, transport distance to the operating room) to inform the choice of either open or closed case carts. Measures to promote personnel safety when using any case cart may include training for use as well as cart inspection and monitoring processes.