Healthcare Storage Solutions – What Do They Have To Offer
The health industry needs efficient storage as they work with sensitive medical inventories. As a result, some healthcare storage solutions are in place to facilitate. Healthcare storage solutions help preserve the quality and integrity of medical supplies. These are vital since they ensure that medical supplies get to the patients in the best conditions.
Healthcare storage solutions offer efficient storage systems, which improve the workflow and efficiency of health personnel. This will in turn enhance patient care.
Key Features and Benefits of Healthcare Storage Solutions
Several measures have been put in place to cater to the storage needs of healthcare inventories. This has resulted in the development of different types of healthcare storage solutions. These solutions include cold storage, shelving systems, sterile storage, medical cabinets, and carts.
These solutions share some common features, which translates to their role and benefits to the health industry and its supply chain.
Optimized Space Utilization
Healthcare storage solutions imbibe storage configurations that maximize the available space. They tend to minimize space wastage as every space holds a considerable volume of inventory. Some of the space utilization configurations include,
- Vertical Storage: Shelving and cabinet systems commonly applies this configuration. For every space, it maximizes the floor-to-ceiling height as though inventories are stacked one upon another.
- High-Density Storage: This involves storing more items in a smaller footprint. It is a form of consolidation in a small space.
Improved Inventory Management
Inventory management is an inevitable feature and benefit of healthcare storage solutions. Healthcare inventories are sensitive and vital as some are tied to the lives of patients. As a result, significant measures are put in place to manage these inventories. Here are the benefits of efficient inventory management in healthcare.
- Prevent Stockout/Expired Inventory: Improved inventory management will result in the accurate monitoring of inventory levels and tracking of expiry dates. As a result, there are no issues of a stockout as inventories are replenished when low. Stockouts and expiry inventories are detrimental to patient’s health and the overall activities of health personnels.
- Minimizes Wastes: Accurate documentation and tracking of inventory provide figures and data on the inventory level, which is used to provide the volume of inventory needed. This will prevent overstocking which can lead to wastage and excessive cost.
- Accurate Data: It helps acquire accurate inventory data, which is used for planning, forecasting, and making informed decisions.
- Improved Patient Care: Inventory management will make inventory available in due time, and enable quick access to improve patient care. This will make treatments more efficient since equipment or medicines are available on time.
Enhanced Accessibility and Workflow Efficiency
Medical storage solutions are designed to give quick and easy access to inventories. These inventories are special and vital, being needed to fix human life; hence, workflow efficiency is a priority and it is integrated into healthcare storage solutions.
Types of Healthcare Storage Solutions
Medical Cabinets and Carts
Medical cabinets and carts provide a secure storage for medical supplies and equipment. They provide a controlled environment for storage and adopt locking mechanisms to improve the safety of medical supplies or inventories.
- Medical cabinets and carts are mobile, which makes it easy to transport medical supplies to the point of care. This improves accessibility and eliminates excessive back-and-forth movement.
- Medical cabinets and carts are customizable. This makes them flexible to meets extra storage needs and designs. As a result, medical cabinets and carts can be customized with dividers, compartments, and other unique accessories.
- Medical cabinets and carts improve operation efficiency and enhance patient care. When medical supplies are efficiently stored and accessible, it maintains the quality of the medical supplies or equipment in taking care of the patient.
Pharmacy Shelving Systems
There are several shelving systems applied for Pharmaceutical Warehouse storage all for the maximization of space and overall workflow efficiency. Here is a rundown of the different shelving systems.
Modular shelving comprises interchangeable components such as dividers, drawers, and compartments. This feature creates room for customization and more space to store a medical inventory of different dimensions.
This is a common shelve system employed in long-term storage facilities. It contains compartments that enable the storage of separate unit-dose packages of medication.
Gravity-flow shelving is used for the first-in, first-out system of storage. It consists of inclined shelves with rollers or tracks which allow movement when placing inventory for storage. The placement is usually from the back which pushes already present inventory forward.
As the name suggests, the height of the shelves is adjustable. This provided extra flexibility to meet the changing storage needs.
Cold Storage Solutions
Some medical inventories are temperature-sensitive such as vaccines, blood samples, etc. This set of inventories needs storage at a suitable temperature. Cold storage such as refrigerators stores inventories at a specified temperature range by eliminating external temperature. This will maintain the quality state of medical inventories for patient care.
Sterile Storage Solutions
This is designed for sterile medical supplies that have gone through sterilization processes. Sterile storage solution has the capacity to keep these inventories in a controlled environment to maintain sterility. Sterile medical supplies such as surgical tools, catheters, wound care supplies, etc will be free from infection and fit for their purposes.
Considerations for Choosing Healthcare Storage Solutions
This section is all about the factors and guiding principles that will help you choose an ideal healthcare storage solution.
Space and Layout Requirement
The available space and how the storage room is laid out will determine the volume of inventory that will be stored. It goes further to determine the accessibility and workflow efficiency in the store room.
The layout involves the proposed placement of storage equipment and other infrastructure in the storage facility. It also involves how the storage and non-storage areas of the facility will be sectioned.
Well-thought space and layout consideration and implementation will help maximize space utilization, create accessibility to inventories, and improves the overall workflow efficiency.
Compliance with Regulations and Standards
There is no compromise with regulations and standards in the manufacturing, distribution, and storage of pharmaceutical supplies. The authorities demand complete compliance with the aim of ensuring the movement of quality and safe medical inventories down the chain.
Healthcare storage solutions must comply with the Goods Distribution and Storage Practice (GDSP) which points out the following standards.
- Product Integrity: The standard is that medical supplies must maintain their quality during distribution and warehouse storage down to when it gets to the patient. This demand that necessary infrastructure and practices be in place to maintain product quality and prevent degradation.
- Traceability: GDSP demands that pharmaceutical supplies be traceable. This is by virtue of accurate documentation, labeling, and identification systems such as barcode scanning. All these will help track the movement of the supplies.
- Temperature Control: This is for temperature-sensitive medical supplies. It is a standard that they must be stored within the specified temperature range. As a result, triggers the use of refrigerated units, or temperature-controlled cabinets.
Whatever healthcare solution you are considering, it must be in compliance to set rules by the GDSP which is for the overall safety of patients.
Flexibility and Scalability
The healthcare industry is ever-evolving to meet the ever-changing patient’s needs. Hence it is vital to consider storage solutions that provide flexibility and room to accommodate growth. This will help gain business growth, relevance, and authority.
Best Practices for Implementing Healthcare Storage Solutions
Proper Categorization and Labeling
Medical inventories are very sensitive and vital as they directly involve the lives of patients. As a result, there should be no error or compromise with categorization and labeling. Wrong labels will make retrieval difficult and can lead to delivering the wrong shipment.
Proper categorization and labeling should be implemented which can be optimized via technology such as barcodes, RFID, etc.
Regular Inventory Audits and Rotation
Regular review and inspection must be done on medical inventories. This will help reconcile records and identify areas of shortfalls. Audits and rotation will see to the consistent and traceable movement of medical inventories to avoid wastage and expiration.
Staff Training and Education
All the standard practices and viable storage solutions can only be carried out by well-trained staff. Staff or personnel should be trained on inventory handling, storage, security, and standards or rules set by authorities. This will result in efficient task handling and skillful manpower at the disposal.
How Al Sharqi Can Help
Al Sharqi can be your ideal healthcare storage provider. We can start from the point where you make the right choice of healthcare storage solution. We will listen to your needs, analyze, and advise on the best storage system for your medical supplies.
We know what is right for you and offer every type of healthcare storage system available in the industry. We will put in place the following.
- Space optimization with the appropriate storage configuration
- Optimized inventory management
- Highly trained manpower
- Enforce practices in compliance with regulations and standards
- Technological implementation to streamline all processes
- Specialized or customized storage services
- Efficient storage conditions to preserve inventory integrity
- Safety and Security
Get more information from Al Sharqi.
Healthcare storage is indispensable in healthcare settings. Without these Healthcare storage solutions, it will be impossible to meet the needs of patients, which will take a toll on human life globally. With several healthcare storage systems in place, they all meet storage needs via improved inventory management, optimized space utilization, and enhanced workflow efficiency. All these put together, results in preserving the integrity of medical supplies and making them available for the patient’s use at appropriate times. Effective healthcare storage solutions should be implemented to help keep and save human health.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are systems put in place to efficiently store medical supplies useful for patients’ needs. They are an effective part of the health sector’s supply chain.
Healthcare storage solutions offer benefits such as enhanced patient care, improved medical inventory management, safety and security of medical supplies, and the overall improvement of workflow and industry productivity.
- Pharmacy shelving system: These are compartments, drawers, and other customizable components that store inventory.
- Cold storage solution: These are refrigerator units for storing temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical inventory like vaccines, etc.
- Sterile storage solution: These are specialized storage units for sterilized medical supplies.
Healthcare storage solutions are designed in line with the natural flow of work in the health facility. This can be seen in the shelving system that allows easy retrieval of inventory. The mobile shelves can also enhance taking the inventory to the point of use.
You should consider the space and layout, flexibility, and scalability, then look out for compliance with regulations and standards.