The importance of a healthcare facility supply room cannot be overstated. It is the foundation of the flow of equipment, instruments, medicines, and many other items related to patient care with the intent to drive positive outcomes. Consider a practice as you would a “supply chain,” with the supply room being the warehouse. Generally, one finds some combination of the following in a healthcare facility supply room:
- Blood collection (phlebotomy and venipuncture) supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Laboratory instruments (autoclaves, bioreactors, etc.)
- Lotions, creams, gels and lubricants
- Patient monitoring devices
- Wound dressings and sponges
- Other (varies by practice)
As a hospital, clinic, or related facility representative or administrator, you understand what inventory is required for patient care. However, you and the entire staff want to make your facility operate more efficiently and optimize your supply room accordingly. Selecting the right storage equipment is integral to it all. Below is a concise breakdown of what makes or breaks a supply room in this capacity so that staff can better organize and facilitate their workflow.
What Every Healthcare Facility Supply Room Requires to Help Staff Better Optimize Workflow and Patient Care
Storage Units and EquipmentGuiding principle: it’s not about the total square footage of your storage areas; it’s about fitting the storage to the inventory properly and efficiently. Simply put, supplies must be where your team intuitively expects them to be, in a recognizable manner. This is essential not just to workflow, as it helps those responsible for procurement better monitor inventory and ensure that items are replenished before they run out.
Storage units and additional equipment required for your supply room are detailed by category below.
I. Shelving Units
Your supply room demands a space for small bins and containers (as per above) in addition to having a secure platform for storing standalone clean and sterile supplies. Wire shelving units are essential to medical supply rooms, from dry storage to corrosion-resistant quality options. These include the following:
- Wire shelving units: good for larger supplies.
- Polymer shelving units: helps prevent packaging tears and is great for when corrosion resistance is required.
- High-density shelving units: add capacity in a limited footprint.
- Supply basket shelving units: offer high capacity, visibility and access to supplies without the need for storage containers like plastic bins.
Supply room wheeled units, in particular, may also require custom covers. These covers provide added protection when leaving the supply room and when potentially “contaminated” individuals, such as delivery persons, enter the space.
II. Enclosed Storage Workstations
If you need to secure supplies from potential contamination while enjoying easy access via premium storage workstations that can be configured to suit different needs. View options that apply to your facility:
III. Wall Cabinets
Wall cabinets are critical to supply rooms with limited square footage and floor space. They are built-in and easily-accessible cabinets that allow staff to store and access supplies. They are also ideal for securing medications and narcotics. View wall cabinet options here.
IV. Refrigeration and Freezer Units
Refrigeration units and freezers are required to protect the integrity of materials and medicines in research, laboratories, and pharmaceutical storage settings. While typically found within a laboratory, facilities may require cooling and freezing units in their supply rooms. Premium options for each are found via the following links:
V. Storage Containers and Dispensers
Small items need to be organized in storage containers and dispensers. Options to consider for your healthcare space include the following:
In addition, consider storage and dispenser solutions for personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies. These can be customized to your PPEs and related items.
Managing medical supply rooms can be challenging due to limited storage space and budget constraints. Forsyth Healthcare is here to help you and your staff navigate these challenges with custom solutions that are unique to your facility. Contact us today for a consultation and experience the Forsyth difference.