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There are a lot of potential storage issues in hospital environments. Hospitals have to manage a wide range of materials, including documents, medicines, personal protection equipment (PPE), and cleaning supplies. It all must be readily accessible and clearly organized, both to follow protocols that keep patients safe and healthy and to optimize training in the modern era of rapid staff turnover. Addressing these problems requires a clear understanding of the storage solutions that are available for hospital environments, and the ways your facility can use those solutions to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs.  

Mobile vs. Stationary 

Mobile storage solutions, such as rolling carts and sliding shelving units, offer flexibility and adaptability, making them ideal for dynamic hospital environments where needs change quickly. They optimize space by allowing for easy reconfiguration and ensure supplies are accessible right at the point of care, allowing staff to operate more efficiently. 

On the other hand, more traditional stationary storage solutions provide durable and stable options for hospital storage, capable of supporting heavier loads and maximizing storage capacity in designated areas. These solutions are cost-effective for long-term storage needs and offer enhanced security for sensitive materials. 

Bins, Shelves, and Lockers

Bins, shelves, and lockers offer unique benefits and limitations based on their design, usage, and application within healthcare facilities. All hospital facilities will use a combination of these solutions. Thinking ahead about how and when to make use of each of their strengths saves time and effort in the long term.

Bins, usually made of plastic in transparent or color-codable options, are versatile and can be used to organize small items like medical supplies, medications, and PPE. Their portability allows them to be easily moved or reorganized within different areas of the hospital, facilitating efficient inventory management and quick access to necessary items. However, bins offer limited security and are not suitable for storing sensitive or valuable items that require controlled access.

Like bins, shelves offer an open storage solution that maximizes the visibility and accessibility of materials but with the tradeoff of minimal security. They are ideal for storing frequently used supplies, equipment, and non-sensitive materials that healthcare staff need to access regularly. Shelving units can be customized in various sizes and configurations to fit specific spaces and storage needs, making them highly adaptable to different hospital departments. Shelving units can also be mobile or stationary, drawing on the affordances and constraints discussed above.

Lockers offer a secure storage solution, ideal for personal belongings of staff and patients as well as sensitive documents and medications. They provide controlled access, ensuring that only authorized personnel can retrieve the contents, which is essential for maintaining privacy and security within the hospital. Lockers can be customized with different locking mechanisms, including key locks, combination locks, and electronic keypad locks, enhancing their security features.

Modular Casework vs. Millwork 

Modular casework is designed with flexibility and adaptability in mind, offering healthcare facilities the ability to reconfigure and reuse components while changing designs. This type of storage solution is particularly helpful in hospital environments where space needs and protocols can change often. Modular casework systems are usually manufactured off-site and come in a range of standard options which can be customized to fit specific space and storage needs. The ability to modify and adapt these systems without a full remodel of the space is a key advantage, allowing hospitals to make needed changes to design while minimizing downtime and construction costs.

 Millwork provides a more permanent storage solution, as it is usually custom-designed and constructed to fit a specific space. Millwork is often considered for its high-quality design and upscale appearance, which can enhance the overall environment. However, once installed, millwork is difficult to modify or move without fully remodeling the space, which usually makes it less suitable for hospital spaces.

Understanding all options for hospital storage solutions will ensure your facility runs a safe, efficient operation. Get in touch with SSI today for a consultation to start building custom solutions for your facility.


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