How Storage Systems and Carts Can Lower Labour Costs


Recent data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that the largest single expense for Canadian hospitals is employee compensation. The CIHI reports that labour costs account for over 63% of all expenses. Things are even more disproportionate in the private sector, which is a growing channel for healthcare as privatized clinics in Canada are seeing increases in patients as our population grows tired of wait times in the public system. Contract labour expenses for private facilities could go the way of their U.S. counterparts which just witnessed a 258% increase in labour costs due to human resource shortages in the industry. Canada is in the throes of labour demands in healthcare after workers have experienced unprecedented levels of burnout, absenteeism, and turnover. 

Simply put, hospitals, along with all types of medical facilities and clinics, are looking for ways to reduce labour costs without negatively impacting patient outcomes. To help accomplish this goal, they are looking towards enhancing efficiencies in supply storage and on-site transport systems. This is where Forsyth Healthcare – Canada’s premium provider of cart and storage solutions – can really help. Below is a breakdown of how carefully curated storage systems and carts can lower your labour expenditure.

4 Ways Custom Cart and Storage Solutions Can Help Reduce Healthcare Labour Costs While Improving Patient Outcomes

Reduces Cleaning and Sanitization Requirements

A growing body of research continues to demonstrate that typical cleaning doesn’t actually sanitize reusable plastic containers and bins as well as it should, be they for food transport or medical applications. When healthcare facilities switch to wire shelving and wire carts (finished in chrome, stainless steel, and polymer), they may eliminate plastic bins, which removes the need for nursing staff to constantly clean them out of fear of contamination. While wire carts and shelving need to be cleaned periodically, the number of hours dedicated to doing so each month pales in comparison to the workload required for reusable plastics. Over time, the cost savings (by switching) will add up quite significantly.

Improved Infection Control

There is a clinical and economic burden of healthcare-associated infections, including extended lengths of hospital stays, which increases labour requirements. Infection control is therefore extremely important not just to improve patient outcomes but to reduce labour costs. The CDC outlines seven basic principles of infection control:

  • Hand hygiene
  • Use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, eyewear).
  • Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette.
  • Sharps safety (engineering and work practice controls).
  • Safe injection practices (i.e., aseptic technique for parenteral medications).
  • Sterile instruments and devices.
  • Clean and disinfected environmental surfaces.

Enhanced investment in custom cart and shelving solutions factor directly or indirectly into each one of these principles as they protect medications, equipment, and supplies in storage, in transport, and when in use in ORs and other patient care settings. You can greatly reduce labour costs simply by replacing plastic bins (which need regular cleaning) with wire supply baskets (which require far less cleaning). Procedure carts and cabinets like Flexline, Lifeline and Starsys have Microban protection built right into the material. Similarly, selecting a copper finish bacterial protection on high-touch equipment like IV poles and patient stretchers. Ask us about Pedigo’s Cuverro bactericidal copper surfaces. 

Improved Inventory Management

Inventory management consumes human resource hours but also adds to healthcare facility costs in other ways. Without proper storage solutions, staff is not able to properly monitor for shortages and excess. The former (shortages) is an obvious concern, but the latter (excess) can also be a problem when shelves and bins are over-stocked. This leads to an increased risk of supplies falling off of storage carts and subsequently being damaged and/or contaminated. Moreover, poorly managed supply inventory can result in outdated/expired materials. Forsyth Healthcare storage solutions that offer better organizing, clear visibility, and optimized dispensing will improve inventory management and take a load off of staff so that they can focus on what matters most – patient care!

Improved Time Management

When our team at Forsyth is planning to renovate or improve a space, we’re looking at not only the storage modality but how users interact with it, approach and move within the space. Shelving systems, storage workstations, mobile supply + transport carts, and utility carts that make supplies more visible and accessible without the need to manipulate drawers or carts on a track save time which ultimately saves labour costs. Further, reduced time stress can have the added benefit of improving staff movement/productivity and can reduce the risk of workplace injury (and all the costs associated with lost manhours and workers’ compensation). 

Why Choose Forsyth Healthcare for Your Storage and Carts Purchases

We hope that the above analysis helps you confirm the importance of investing in a better supply storage and carting solution for your hospital or other type of medical facility. That being said, we know that you have more questions and concerns about shipping, customization, and budgetary considerations. This is where Forsyth Healthcare stands out above the rest when it comes to procurement of medical equipment. We’re here to take the guesswork and hard work (assembly, etc.) off of your hands so that you can put your investments to immediate use to the benefit of your staff, patients, and bottom line.

Contact us today for a friendly conversation about your needs.

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