One of the biggest, and largely unaddressed problems in the Sterile Processing Department is Supply Storage. Lack of space and organization can lead to longer picking times, longer OR turnover times, inadequate supply quantities, and can even lead to non-compliance. Don’t fear! There are steps you can take to optimize your existing space to keep it running smoothly and even make room for future storage.
What is being stored? Disposables? Instrumentation? Sterile packs? Robotic instruments? Understanding all of the different items that need to be stored will allow you to space plan and develop efficient, compliant ways to store all of your supplies.
Dig into the analytics. Not just WHAT is being used, but HOW MUCH is being used. By tracking and analyzing supply and instrumentation usage as well as reviewing pick lists, you can better understand which supplies are moving fast, slow, or not moving at all. This can help to eliminate supply shortages and expired products. This can also give you some clues on how to better organize the storage room for faster picking. More to come on that topic in our next Expert Series™ post.
As always, before beginning any project, talk to your stakeholders to ensure you have the full picture of what is working and what gaps need to be addressed. All facilities are so varied, there is NO cookie cutter approach to building highly efficient storage rooms, but with input from your stakeholders, you can build the right solution for your team.