As hospitals continue to grow their service offering faster than they can build (or afford to build) additional space, they are faced with the challenge of making the best of their existing environment. The medical supply storage locker has been enabling space efficiency for decades.
Learn about the space planning and infection prevention benefits the locker case can provide.
Medical Supply Storage Lockers - A look from the inside
There are 3 features you want in a locker:
- Infection Prevention
Choose a locker that can adapt to the changing needs of the staff. Services evolve, and sometimes carts and lockers are re-purposed. You'll want to find a locker that allows ample possibilities for customizing the interior configuration.
Some examples of available interior configuration options include:
- powder-coated wire shelves
- heavy-duty solid plastic shelves
- drawers of different optional depths
- drawers that have covers
- drawers that have lock options
- catheter racks
- labels that can be changed as needed
- drawer and shelf dividers that can quickly and easily organize IV bags, tape rolls, etc.
- small organizer bins to keep items separate within the drawers
- medication casette bins
As you can see from the list above, there are many opportunities for medical staff to customize a locker for the types of medical supplies they need and use every day in their specific unit. With this menu of options, the interior of the medical supply locker can become a high-density, space- efficient storage container.
What features should your medical supply storage have to help aid your infection prevention efforts?
Your modular interior components should be easy to remove and wash. They should be wipeable for those times when you don't have time to send components to a washer. Solid and impermeable surfaces are best so that moisture cannot penetrate the interior of the shelves and racks.
Choose materials that are rust-proof as well. This will not only improve the lifetime of your purchase, but it will also keep your staff protected from the infection dangers of rust.
Interior locker components can be user-friendly if the manufacturer has paid attention to ergonomics, has created handle and pull styles that are easy and safe to grasp, and has used materials that keep the staff safe.
For example, be on the lookout for drawers, shelves, and cases that have rounded corners. This feature will protect staff from getting a cut as they rush through their chaotic patient care environment.
An added benefit to rounded corners is cleanability. For example, a plastic drawer with rounded interior corners does not provide dirt with a 90-degree corner in which it can collect and hide. Rounded corners can be wiped clean in an instant.
Materials matter too. Durable plastic won't rust, and it won't have sharp corners where staff may cut themselves. Don't forget patients make their judgements on quality based on the appearance and cleanliness of your facility too. Therefore, the more you take advantage of plastic equipment and storage, the less opportunity the patient will have to notice unsightly rust. Keep your patients satisfaction scores high with recycled plastic components and equipment.
Finally, make your lockers user-friendly by making them an interchangeable part of your procedure and supply cart planning. Some manufacturers create drawers and shelves that can be used interchangeably in their medical storage lockers and in their medical carts. Staff members always appreciate it when they have the power to adapt to their environment. When they can't, stress levels rise, and staff dissatisfaction along with it.
Read more about medical cart planning: