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How Should Medical Supplies Be Stored? 5 Tips for Hospital Management

/ By Ian LoperSeptember 19, 2022

Hospitals aim to deliver timely and efficient healthcare to their patients. And it can only do this through proper administration, excellent coordination, invaluable talent, great leadership, sufficient and accessible supplies, and sterile instrument storage.

For hospital operations to function like a well-oiled machine and give timely and effective treatment to its patients, healthcare workers need access to necessary medical supplies, which are up to par with industry standards, to prevent the spread of pathogens and control disease transmission.

But no matter how well hospitals sterilize their tools, these efforts will be wasted if they don't follow proper sterile storage conditions. Learn more about how to properly manage medical supplies in hospitals and healthcare facilities to prioritize patient safety.

5 Tips for Medical Supply Management in Hospitals

A hospital admits patients in need of numerous kinds of treatments every day. This means that they need even more kinds of medical supplies to tend to their patient's needs. Accordingly, sterile items should remain sterile, clean items clean, and everything should be accessible when needed.

The last thing you want is healthcare workers wandering your hospital looking for supplies they cannot find. Not only is this potentially life-threatening for some patients, but it also costs you time and money.

Instead, you want smooth operations where everything is in its proper storage, and easily retrievable when you need them. Check out these five tips to help you manage your hospital medical supplies.

1. Enough Space

Every hospital struggles with limited floor space. There is only so much available space in a hospital, and patients need space to receive treatment and recover.

To conserve space, one of the best ways to store medical supplies is through smart storage solutions. They should be able to utilize vertical space as opposed to horizontal space, or mobile storage which allows you to maximize free space when not in use.

Additionally, medical supplies, particularly sterile instruments, should be stored in designated supply areas to maintain their shelf life. This prevents hospital halls and public spaces from looking cluttered—and also makes locating supplies much easier.

2. Keep Them Secured

Hospital medical supplies, especially pharmaceuticals and valuable medical equipment, are only for authorized use. To prevent them from going missing or being damaged, hospitals should keep them safe and key in secure shelves and cupboards—preferably made of metal. Hospitals usually use tambour doors in securing storage shelves.

Then, these storage units should be kept inside designated areas that are accessible only to authorized individuals.

3. Meet Your Unique Storage Needs

Though healthcare facilities use most similar types of medical supplies, no two hospitals are the same in their needs. Not to mention, hospitals have different layouts and spaces.

Hospitals should consider where their facilities are located and have storage of materials commonly needed by those facilities within access. Some storage solutions such as mobile shelves offer flexibility in terms of storage and come in handy if medical supplies have to be moved constantly.

Meanwhile, open shelves, clear shelves, and containers improve visibility so that locating items is much easier than having to go through numerous labels. If these solutions are not enough, you can always consult experts to help come up with customized storage solutions for your space and unique needs.

4. Improve Your Supply Organization

No amount of space-saving storage solution matters if you can't locate your items when you need them. This is where the organization of your supply area comes in.

Hospitals should choose storage solutions with designs that allow them to clearly sort and locate medical files, supplies, and equipment. Not only will this improve inventory management, but it will also help healthcare workers find items, improving their productivity and making your hospital operations run more smoothly.

5. Utilize Modular Storage Solutions

With limited space in hospitals and the huge amount of inventory to keep track of, no wonder many hospitals are quickly running out of storage space. If you are facing this problem, it's a great idea to look into modular storage solutions.

Modular storage solutions are a type of smart storage solution which allows you to move your storage unit around. This helps you conserve space as you can relocate the storage unit to the space not in use at the moment.

Not to mention, these storage units can be relocated very quickly, making transportation of medical instruments, devices, and tools to frontliners in urgent need of them much more quickly. Such an upgrade can improve the hospital's operations and response time to urgent cases.

And with so many kinds of instrument storage available today, your hospital is bound to find a modular storage unit for its needs.

Mobile storage units come in various sizes and with different kinds and numbers of shelving. They also come in durable materials compliant with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on sterile storage, as well as with sophisticated locks for sterility and security, making sure that the items in storage are in good condition and safe.

Simplify Your Medical Supply Storage

When you hear smart storage solutions and sophisticated security mechanisms, it makes storage sound so complicated, when in fact, these storage solutions do the exact opposite.

The objective of smart storage solutions is to simplify storage through creative space utilization, standardized sizes and storage designs, CDC-compliant storage units, and easy-to-transport and access containers.

By simplifying storage, these storage solutions are making it easier for hospital staff to locate, access, and transport medical supplies for smooth operations.

Implement Efficient Medical Supply Storage with Distribution Systems International

Hospitals are always busy. Your storage shouldn't be making you even busier. Instead, invest in innovative sterile instrument storage that will allow you to free up more space, secure your medical supplies, accommodate your unique storage needs, improve the organization of your supplies, and make your operations run more smoothly!

At Distribution Systems International, we take a consultative approach in how we resolve our client's specific needs. We assess your current storage system, identify its limitations, and take inventory of what needs to be stored and how it should be stored, then provide you with custom sterile storage solutions.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experts and receive a free no-obligation price quote, contact us at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

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