Medstor - streamlining, improving efficiency and saving money

Published: 7-Apr-2016

Medstor, the healthcare materials management specialist, recently delivered a major storage solution into a key department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The theatre storage area at the hospital was packed full of a wide variety of stock, from instruments to scrubs, but with all the space taken up, it was hard to access items, and difficult for staff to find what they needed quickly in the dark, crowded space. Aberdeen Royal Infirmary approached Medstor to provide a solution that would bring its theatre storage systems in line with its commitment to Releasing Time to Care (RTTC), streamlining materials management processes to save time and improve efficiency by organising stock more clearly and safely and making items easier to find. Medstor was able to reduce, rationalise and reorganise to such an extent that it totally changed the nature of the space, giving the hospital a light, modern and above all effective storage facility.

From the start of the project, the team from Medstor worked closely with the hospital to make sure every element of its vision for the new storage area was met. The final design, featuring a mix of theatre-specific racking and cabinets, along with pharmacy units, would ensure that everything in the stores had its own logical place – no mean feat when you consider that the storage area was 90m2, and filled to the rafters. It would also address the infection control issues surrounding the storage room – the existing racks were hard to keep clean, especially when full of stock, but the new Medstor cabinets, designed with enhanced infection control in mind, are easy to wipe down, the trays are easily removed for cleaning, and there are far fewer dust traps than on open racking, protecting contents from potential infection.

In order to make the movement of stock from old to new storage system go as smoothly as possible, Medstor provided mobile loan units for the transition period, and supplied trays well in advance of the actual installation: this ensured that once trays were loaded, the theatre staff could access stock as they needed, but also that when the installation was completed, the trays could be put into the cabinets preloaded, saving time and allowing the busy area, which remained operational throughout, to function as normally as possible.

Helen Gauld, theatre service manager, and Mark Higgins, lead theatre nurse, wanted to improve efficiency further by colour coding stock, so Medstor supplied coloured cards that fit into its trays to allow for easy identification of goods. Medstor’s materials management solution also complements the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system that the hospital now runs in the storage area, helping the hospital to save money as it makes the ordering process more efficient and minimises waste.

“It is difficult to quantify savings but our store is now more manageable and we have mitigated the risk of overstocking and products being kept in more than one place and being forgotten about – we found some very old stuff in odd places when we ripped out the old shelves.

We increased our storage capacity within the same footprint and the store looks bigger and brighter.  Picking is now more streamlined as the products are categorised, so all airway stuff is together, breathing, circulation etc.  We have a lockable cabinet for high value or special orders so they don’t go astray.  Rotating stock is managed more efficiently and we have visibility of stock in the trays  – everything is easily retrieved.    The store is now easier to clean and has a better flow between sterile and non-sterile areas.”
Helen Gauld: Service Manager, Main Theatre Suite, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

The storage solutions Medstor provided for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary are typical of the highly effective products it designs for healthcare facilities throughout the world. Every element of each racking system or cabinet has beautifully simple, clean, sleek lines that not only complement the theatre or ward design but offer increased storage capacity, better cost efficiency through improved stock control, and dramatically enhanced infection control. As everything made by Medstor is designed and built in-house in the UK, quality is controlled from start to finish, with a dedicated team working to guarantee the most successful and aesthetic utilisation of space.

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