Skytron Blog

Optimizing Healthcare Supply Storage: Tips, Best Practices, and Innovations
  • Written By
    Rebecca Kinney
  • Published
    December 7, 2023

If you have worked in any healthcare setting, you are aware of the storage challenges that come with the territory. Not just in sterile spaces or clean cores, but spaces that house a wide range of clean medical supplies, including first aid and wound care products, personal protective equipment, advanced life support equipment, intravenous solutions, and much more. In this article we want to touch on the importance of storage in relation to infection control in healthcare environments, some simple storage tips and best practices, as well as an innovative solution that can help your facility today. As a bonus, we will provide a few resources specific to sterile storage and regulatory outlooks at the very end for you to do a deeper dive if interested.

Storage and Infection Control

Hospital staff need to be confident that the supplies they collect or receive from the hospital’s storage facilities are clean, fit for purpose, and safe to use. If clean and sterile hospital supplies have been compromised and contaminated, the risk of transmitting infectious pathogens to patients is dramatically increased and the threat of an outbreak of otherwise avoidable Healthcare-Associated Infections (HCAIs) is prevalent. We all know and understand the risks tied to HCAIS and we want to guide you with some considerations on managing your inventory and some simple storage tips.

Clean Supply Inventory Management

Managing the inventory and storage of clean supplies is an essential part of controlling the levels required for patient care. The hygiene and integrity of clean and sterile supplies are essential to providing safe and consistent patient care. Here are a few tips and considerations to take in order to maintain your storage:

Clean Supply Inventory Management: Tips and Considerations

  1. FIFO Method: Rotate supplies following the First In, First Out method to ensure freshness and usability.
  2. Avoid Overstock: Prevent overstocking in clean supply rooms to maintain a manageable inventory.
  3. Set Up Your Periodic Automatic Replenishment (PAR) Inventory: Knowing how much inventory you have on hand and where it is located.
  4. Dedicated Storage: Enforce storing only clean and sterile supplies in designated areas, monitored with regular checks and clear signage.
  5. Assess Unused Supplies: Evaluate infrequently used supplies for necessity, potential reduction, or relocation to central storage.

Top Tips for Storage: Ensuring Hygiene and Accessibility

Here are a few simple considerations as they relate to keeping your storage carts clean and accessible:

  1. Hand Hygiene Facilities: Provide accessible hand hygiene facilities at storage entrances.
  2. Segregated Storage: Keep clean and sterile supplies separate, using dividers for easy accessibility.
  3. Liquid Placement: Store liquids on lower shelves to minimize spill risks and injuries.
  4. Disposal of Inner Boxes: Dispose of empty inner boxes to prevent reuse and cross-contamination.
  5. Cleaning Containers: Regularly clean and disinfect containers to maintain a hygienic environment.

Storage Areas Best Practice: Setting the Standards

This list provides you with some practical tips for maintaining your storage carts:

  1. Clear Signage: Mark clean supply rooms with clear signage, including no-entry warnings for the general public.
  2. Limited Access: Restrict access to trained personnel, minimizing potential contamination risks.
  3. Routine Cleaning: Regularly clean shelves, storage bins, and transport carts, documenting cleaning frequencies.
  4. Container Maintenance: Keep containers free of visible dust or soiling, ensuring cleanliness during distribution.
  5. Labeling: Clearly label all containers for accurate identification.
  6. Hygienic Surfaces: Utilize hygienic, cleanable surfaces and safe, appropriately sized structures.

Introducing Skytron’s Innovative Solution: ST Mobile Carts

Let us introduce you to the future of healthcare storage with Skytron’s ST Mobile Carts. Crafted from robust powder-coated steel, these carts are engineered to meet the rigorous demands of healthcare settings. The innovative Panelogicâ„¢ cell panels set them apart, providing exceptional flexibility and storage capacity.

Key Features:

  • Configurability: Highly configurable design allows for versatile storage tailored to medical supplies.
  • Locking Mechanism: An optional locking mechanism ensures controlled storage for added security.
  • Inventory Visibility: Clear plastic bins enhance inventory visibility for efficient supply management.
  • Accessory Options: Customizable accessories, including bins, shelves, lockable drawers, and catheter slides.
  • Maneuverability: Steel side handles and heavy-duty casters facilitate easy transportation across healthcare facilities.

The key to a successful healthcare environment lies in meticulous storage management. Embrace innovation, prioritize cleanliness, and enhance your storage approach with Skytron’s ST Mobile Carts. Your patients deserve nothing less than the best in healthcare supply solutions.

Additional resources specific to sterile storage (not just clean storage):

  1. The Joint Health Commission: Managing packaged sterile supplies and devices
  2. AORN: Will Your Sterile Processing Department Pass Inspection? See Point #5