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MEDICAL SUPPLIES STORAGE: PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS

Medical facilities are taking stock of the best ways to address key issues in the healthcare industry, including ongoing staff shortages and higher potential for burnout among healthcare professionals. Custom-designed storage systems, tailored specifically to each unique healthcare environment, can alleviate stress on staff by reducing potential hazards and streamlining the retrieval and management of supplies. Implementing practical medical supplies storage solutions makes workspaces more functional, creating a better environment for both staff and patients.

Custom design

Storage solutions should be designed with the user in mind. This creates easier working conditions and less stress on staff. For example, 76 percent of healthcare workers in the United States are female, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an average height of 5 feet, 4 inches. While it’s tempting to use vertical space to maximize supply storage, sending staff members running for step stools adds both time and fall hazards to the work routine.

Modular casework can be configured — and re-configured — to meet any needs. A modular style looks permanent and secure, like built-in millwork, but is easily movable when organizational needs change. By leveraging modular configurations, healthcare facilities can significantly improve their operational workflow and ensure that critical supplies are readily accessible when needed. 

Subdivisions

When designing your storage system, we recommend incorporating smaller, removable subdivisions that can accommodate a wide range of items. This allows for the customization of storage spaces to fit supplies in many sizes, shapes, and quantities, whether that particular unit holds medical instruments, medications, personal protective equipment, or cleaning supplies. 

As inventory needs evolve — whether due to changes in protocols or normal seasonal fluctuations in supply usage — the process of re-organizing the storage space becomes significantly simpler. The modular nature of these subdivisions means that they can be effortlessly rearranged or moved to different locations within the storage system or even to different areas of the facility. 

This mobility is crucial for minimizing the time and effort required for large-scale reorganizations, which can be a source of frustration and a drain on staff resources in busy healthcare environments. By reducing the need for extensive physical effort and minimizing the disruption to the workflow, these removable subdivisions contribute to a more efficient and pleasant working environment. 

Transparency

The contents of a storage container should be easily visible to all users. For some supplies, transparent or open containers both promote visibility and allow fast and easy access, but this option is not always appropriate. In all cases, clear and precise labeling helps keep an organizational system functional and assists with supply management. Labels can provide essential information at a glance, including the name of the supply and sometimes associated use guidelines.

 Many healthcare facilities have integrated barcodes in supply labeling. This system allows facilities to monitor stock levels, track expiration dates, and even automate the reordering process when supplies run low. This level of automation not only ensures that the inventory is kept up-to-date in real-time but also significantly reduces the likelihood of shortages or overstocking, leading to more efficient use of resources. 

Security

Negotiating security and easy access to materials is essential in medical facilities that have to balance management of confidential patient information, potentially hazardous medications and instruments, and the needs of staff members to work quickly and efficiently. Standard locks, as well as keyless and pinpad access options can add layers of security while still allowing staff members fast access to necessary supplies.

By implementing practical solutions for medical supplies storage, healthcare facilities can streamline operations and create a safer, more supportive environment for both staff and patients. Contact SSI today for a consultation to start building custom solutions for your facility.

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