Storage Systems Unlimited

Author: Natalie Willis

Healing in Style: Transforming the Healthcare Environment With Woodgrain and Laminate Products

The environment in which patients receive healthcare plays a pivotal role in their overall experience. From the moment they walk through the doors of a hospital or care facility, patients and their family members form impressions that can profoundly impact their well-being, comfort and perception of the quality of care they are about to receive. In today’s healthcare landscape, patient satisfaction scores matter more than ever, making it crucial for healthcare organizations to prioritize every aspect of the patient experience.

In this blog post, we showcase the importance of creating aesthetically pleasing healthcare facilities to enhance patient satisfaction and perceptions of care. Discover how the integration of woodgrain and laminate storage solutions can transform clinical spaces into warm, inviting environments. These versatile products not only add visual appeal but also offer durability, functionality, customization and versatility essential for healthcare facilities.

The Impact of Aesthetics on Patient Well-Being

The healthcare environment has a direct influence on a patient’s recovery and mental state. The traditional clinical and sterile aesthetics of hospitals can exacerbate stress and anxiety in patients. Creating an atmosphere that feels calming, warm and familiar can go a long way in alleviating these negative emotions. Here’s how:

1 | reduce stress and anxiety:

A welcoming and aesthetically pleasing environment can significantly reduce the stress and anxiety often associated with medical procedures and hospital stays. It can promote a sense of comfort and relaxation, contributing to improved patient outcomes.

2 | enhance patient comfort:

Patients who feel comfortable in their surroundings are more likely to have a positive experience during their healthcare journey. Aesthetic elements can contribute to a sense of coziness and familiarity. For example, in the PICU and NICU, medical storage solutions at the bedside are critical because necessary medications and supplies must always be in reach. While functionality is incredibly important in the PICU and NICU, so is comfort for the parents and family members who are there with their newborns. Woodgrain and laminate storage solutions, such as the mobile carts and stationary cabinets available through InnerSpace, add warmth and a touch of comfort to a highly clinical area of the hospital.

3 | better perception of care:

Patients form judgments about the quality of care they will receive based on the appearance and ambience of the healthcare facility. A well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing facility can instill confidence in patients and their families, setting the stage for a positive experience.

Blending Style and Functionality With Woodgrain and Laminate Storage Solutions

Woodgrain and laminate storage solutions can help create an aesthetically pleasing—yet completely functional—healthcare environment. Products made with these materials offer many advantages, including:

1 | durability:

Woodgrain and laminate materials are known for their durability. In a healthcare setting where frequent use and cleaning are necessary, these solutions can withstand the test of time, maintaining their appearance and functionality.

2 | functionality:

Storage solutions are an essential part of any healthcare facility. Woodgrain and laminate options can be customized to meet specific storage needs, providing ample space for medical supplies, patient records and other essentials. Products like lockers and cabinets, such as those provided by InnerSpace, are available with laminate and/or wood compression boards and can be made to look similar to cabinets found at home—yet still be completely functional with shelves and baskets that are easily configured and reconfigured.

3 | customization:

These materials come in a variety of colors, patterns and finishes, allowing healthcare facilities to tailor the design to match their unique aesthetic preferences. Customization enables facilities to create a cohesive and appealing look throughout. CartStrong’s woodgrain bedside cabinets, for example, are available in five finishes and can be customized with electronic and key lock options, exposed or hidden casters, drawer configurations, and optional glides.

4 | versatility:

Woodgrain and laminate solutions can be used in various areas of a healthcare facility, from patient rooms to waiting areas and administrative spaces. Their versatility makes it easy to maintain a cohesive and pleasing design throughout the facility.

A Step in the Right Direction

As healthcare organizations continue to prioritize patient satisfaction and the overall patient experience, investing in aesthetically pleasing environments is a step in the right direction. By choosing woodgrain and laminate storage solutions, healthcare facilities can strike the perfect balance between style and functionality, ensuring that patients and their families feel at ease during their healthcare journey.

Storage Systems Unlimited is a leading provider of storage solutions for healthcare organizations of all sizes. We offer a multitude of woodgrain and laminate storage products, including carts, shelves, containers and more. We also offer preferred pricing, planning, design, installation and project management for healthcare organization and storage systems. Want to learn more? Contact us at 1-888-614-0004 or request a quote today.


Freestanding Emergency Department

How to Get Your Freestanding Emergency Department Up and Running

Freestanding Emergency Department

The number of freestanding emergency departments (ED) or ambulatory care centers is growing rapidly in the United States. In 2019, the U.S. freestanding ED market size was about $3.3 billion, according to Grandview Research. That market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% to 2027, reaching $5 billion.

Freestanding emergency departments are expanding quickly due to patient demand: With ambulatory centers that are not connected to a full hospital, patients can often access emergency services closer to their homes and with much shorter waiting times compared to traditional hospital emergency rooms. In addition to reducing overcrowding in traditional emergency departments, freestanding EDs may also decrease costs by providing care at a lower reimbursement level than a traditional hospital-based emergency department.

Each state has different regulations governing freestanding emergency centers. In some states, a certificate of need is required before a center can be opened. In some states, a freestanding emergency department must be affiliated with an existing hospital, and in others, there is no such requirement. For hospitals, doctors, business owners and others who have achieved state approval to open a freestanding ED, these three steps are crucial for getting the center up and running effectively.

1 | ENSURE Code compliance.

Compliance with building codes is essential with any new facility, but especially with a freestanding ED. In most cases, these facilities must be compliant with both state and local health department building codes. Because state and local requirements often differ, engineers and architects may need to consult with state and city officials to make sure the building will be compliant.

While it’s easy to assume that freestanding EDs are similar to urgent care centers, the building code requirements typically exceed the requirements for urgent care centers. The requirements often exceed even the code requirements for hospital emergency departments, according to Emergency Physicians Monthly. As a result, it’s important to double-check the requirements for your state and city.

2 | obtain transfer agreements.

A freestanding ED must have partnerships in place in order to succeed. Emergency medical services (EMS) may or may not transport patients to a freestanding center, so ED leaders must work to build relationships and transfer agreements with these providers.

If a freestanding ED is not affiliated with a particular hospital, it will need to work with attorneys to develop a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. With strong agreements in place with both EMS and hospitals, it will be easy to quickly transport and admit patients who need to be hospitalized after receiving emergency care.

3 | stock your emergency center.

Like any other healthcare facility, a freestanding ambulatory center must be equipped with all the right supplies and equipment to effectively provide patient care. And those supplies must be stored in an organized, convenient way so that providers can quickly access the items they need to handle patient emergencies efficiently.

Choosing the right types of storage can make a difference in the emergency room’s response times and patient satisfaction rates. For example, your freestanding ED may need a variety of carts, such as general procedure carts, crash carts, phlebotomy carts, and procedure and trauma carts. With the right carts in place, providers can take with them all necessary supplies to care for various patients at their bedside.

Aside from movable storage, it’s also important to equip patient rooms with needed supplies and equipment with built-in storage solutions. That may include bin cabinets, bag dispensers and bulk dispensers. When emergency providers encounter patients, they may also need items such as digital scales, exam stools, foot stools, glove dispensers and infection prevention stations in order to adequately and quickly respond to patient needs.

The right types of storage can help prevent the spread of infection and disease, while also allowing providers to offer the care patients need, right when they need it, without having to search for necessary supplies and equipment.

At Storage Systems Unlimited, we have helped many free-standing emergency departments get up and running. We provide all storage-related products for the emergency department with a choice of multiple manufacturers. We also offer preferred pricing, planning, design, installation and project management for healthcare organization and storage systems. Contact us at 1-888-614-0004 or visit to learn more or request a quote.

Storage Systems Unlimited Helps BrightStone Organize for Success

BrightStone, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities and solutions to adults with developmental disabilities, sends a newsletter around the Christmas holiday sharing a recap of the year, improvements and expansions to its facility, and a “Wish List” of needed items. When we realized that many of the Wish List items were among our product offerings, we offered BrightStone a donation of $15,000 in storage products.

We visited the inspiring 140-acre campus just south of Franklin, Tennessee, which was recently donated by a family with a student who attends BrightStone’s Center for Learning, Art, and Enterprise. Our initial evaluation was to gather ideas on what would be the most useful items to donate. In addition to the 23,000-square-foot center, the new campus, opened in November 2022, contains two residential teaching homes that are nearing completion. Each 3,900-square-foot teaching home features student bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a storm shelter, a covered entrance, a back porch and a carport. Home teachers will have their own private living quarters, and each adult resident will have a private bedroom and bathroom.

Health and wellness are vital parts of the BrightStone program, which teaches adults skills essential to their personal care—proper hygiene, education about illnesses and how to protect themselves, eating healthy, and proper nutrition. In addition to attending rotating classes throughout the day, BrightStone adults are encouraged to be active. Whether it is attending a field trip to the bowling alley or the park, or official physical education classes, they are often on the move! Twice a week, exercise class also includes therapeutic yoga, which can help increase strength, flexibility, balance and focus. With advances in medicine and treatments, the life expectancy for adults with disabilities is growing longer, creating the need for places like BrightStone to provide care, activities and fun for the students as their primary caretakers age.

Offerings include a music program; a pottery center; a procurement center for the students to prepare and package cookie mix and a variety of teas; and the most popular item, which is hand-drawn Christmas cards made by the students. Several students were able to join us at our 24th annual Fish Fry, where they quickly took over the dance floor!

Our $15,000 donation provided a Storage Systems medical cart for their nurse, a large Harloff cabinet for storage of extra clothing in the nurse station, a partition used to divide a room to create extra classroom space, and two 12-foot Top-Track systems that allow for 30% more storage for the procurement center. The new shelving provides BrightStone with a more efficient and organized way to store the packaged food mixes and teas the nonprofit sells at its campus and with the assistance of local retail partners.

“We are proud to have sponsored the product and the installation of the new storage items at BrightStone,” said Bill Kreager, Chief Revenue Officer of Storage Systems Unlimited. “We believe that our products can help businesses to improve their efficiency and productivity, and we are so glad that we were in a position to lend a hand to an organization like BrightStone. They are building a very special place, and we are happy to be a part of it.”

ABout brightstone

BrightStone is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities and solutions to adults with developmental disabilities. It offers a variety of services, including employment training, job placement, residential services and day programs. BrightStone is committed to helping its clients achieve their full potential and live independent and fulfilling lives. Learn more about BrightStone here.

ABout storage systems unlimited

Storage Systems Unlimited is a leading provider of storage solutions for businesses of all sizes, including nonprofits. SSU offers a multitude of storage-related products, including wire shelving, cabinets, carts and more. We also offer preferred pricing, planning, design, installation and project management for healthcare organization and storage systems. Want to learn more? Contact us at 1-888-614-0004 or request a quote today.

Balancing Cost and Quality: How to Budget for High-Performance Storage

Cost and quality are two concerns that often seem to be at odds with each other when it’s time to select a product or service. When it comes to their storage needs, healthcare facilities and organizations want the best product they can get for the price that’s right for them. Much is at stake beyond finances: patient and provider safety, infection control, environmental impact, and much more. Other factors might include functionality, durability, versatility, style, convenience, accessibility, security, and space.

With so many issues to consider, healthcare entities will differ widely on which bins, cabinets, carts, shelves and other storage equipment are best for a given use. Regardless of your needs, attention to these eight guidelines will help you make informed choices that balance cost and quality.

1 | DO your homework.

Market research and in-house consultation will help you define the needs of your department, facility or organization; pinpoint the available options; and determine what you can afford. What designs, materials, features and ergonomics best meet your requirements? Your previous experiences with a given vendor or product line should factor into your current deliberations. Consider the short- and long-term costs of the equipment—a cheaper option that demands frequent replacing or servicing might not be the bargain you hoped for, especially if it affects the safety of patients or staff. Explore whether it makes more sense to purchase a standard, “off the shelf” product or one customized to your specific needs; a custom solution will cost more, but it might easily pay for itself with features that enable better efficiencies.

2 | know your current inventory.

After something breaks or otherwise becomes unusable is not the ideal time to start looking for a replacement. By staying informed on the condition of this equipment, you can prepare for the inevitable wear and tear, obsolescence, and unexpected occurrences so that you are not caught off guard, left without and in a desperate situation.

3 | involve key stakeholders.

Consult with those on the front lines who will actually be using the products. In addition to ensuring that you’re weighing all the relevant factors, they can help you strengthen your case for approval of the needed purchases. Stakeholders may include physicians, nurses, administrators, the board of directors, the purchasing department, accounting and financial departments, and others. They may also include other departments whose requests may either align or conflict with yours. Are these other departments facing challenges similar to yours—and how have they dealt with those challenges? A unified front in the face of a shared difficulty can help everyone involved.

4 | make sure the timing is right.

Timing is everything when it comes to budgets. Plan ahead for your needs so you don’t get stuck playing the waiting game while your needs grow increasingly urgent. Wisely spend the money you’ve been allocated for the current year to avoid losing it, and have a backup plan for how to use that money in case you can’t get your first option.

5 | anticipate objections.

Healthcare organizations are often strapped financially, forcing decision makers to make hard choices. How well can you demonstrate that approval of your request will provide long-term value and sufficient return on investment? Is it compatible with other equipment both within your department and across the organization? What kind of training, technical support and maintenance will be required? Is there a more affordable alternative that will serve the same purpose? And why is this acquisition necessary now? By thinking like the people who hold the purse strings, and asking yourself such questions now, you can be prepared to address potential obstacles to getting what you need.

6 | develop relationships with trustworthy partners.

Look for vendors that have proven track records and that promptly respond to your needs and questions. Do your vendors offer a range of product and service options? Are they willing to work with you to determine the best solutions for your organization and its budget? Does their customer service extend beyond the sale? Do they offer related services such as installation, planning and design, and project management?

7 | keep the patient at the forefront.

More than ever before, the patient experience is at the forefront of healthcare. Your ability to demonstrate to the numbers-crunchers that a given acquisition will improve patient outcomes and experiences can be invaluable to the approval of a given request.

Storage Systems Unlimited offers an array of storage-related products, including bins and panels, cabinets, carts, high-density storage systems, infection prevention, lockers, material handling and shelving. We represent leading manufacturers including Akro-Mils, Blickman, Bowman, Capsa Healthcare, Detecto, Harloff, Metro, InnerSpace, Jeter, Lakeside, LogiQuip, Mass, Pedigo, Pipp Mobile Storage Systems, Quantum Storage Systems, Simplifi, Staxi, TouchPoint Medical, Wanzl and Waterloo Healthcare Medical Carts. Many products are available in varying configurations to fit your budget, with or without a range of accessories.

We also offer installation, planning and design, and project management, making us your one-stop shop for all your storage needs, whether for new construction, remodel, expansion or one-off purchasing, anywhere in the U.S.

Storage Systems Unlimited is a contracted vendor with the following group purchasing organizations: Healthtrust, Vizient, Champs Group Purchasing, HRS (Health Resource Services), PDM Healthcare, Magnet Group and Capstone Health Alliance.

Ensuring Patient Safety and Improving Health Outcomes

For hospitals, preventing harm to patients is just as important as improving patients’ symptoms. In high-income countries like the United States, about one in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care, according to the World Health Organization, and at least 50% of the adverse events causing patient harm are preventable.

In recent years, increasing numbers of hospitals have committed to patient safety in an effort to protect patients and reduce negative health outcomes. Patient safety efforts often involve campaigns to reduce diagnostic errors, unsafe surgical procedures, and infections. But it may come as a surprise that even a hospital’s storage solutions and room layouts can play an outsized role in ensuring patient safety and boosting health outcomes.

Consider three patient safety risks that can be mitigated with appropriate storage solutions and room design.

1 | Medication Errors

 Research suggests that on average, hospitalized patients are exposed to at least one medication error per day, and those errors are both expensive and potentially harmful to patients. Research shows that every year, in the U.S. alone, between 7,000–9,000 people die as a result of a medication error.

Hospitals have worked to prevent medication errors by implementing systems such as electronic prescribing. However, specially designed medication carts can also make a difference in reducing medication errors and improving providers’ efficiency.

When a hospital pharmacy dispenses all prescribed medications to one medication room, there’s an inherent risk that nurses and other healthcare providers may mistakenly get the wrong medication or the wrong dosage for a particular patient. Software-enabled medication carts eliminate this issue: These carts contain storage drawers that are secured with digital locks, only accessible by authorized users. The correct, prescribed medicines for each patient can be dosed appropriately and securely loaded into the cart. With integrated software, the carts can track who is accessing each drawer, which medications were given and to which patient. This information helps hospitals keep track of every pill, hold providers accountable and keep patients safer.

Storage Systems Unlimited provides a large selection of medication carts that can increase security and reduce errors, improving patient safety and boosting health outcomes.

2 | Documentation Errors

Documentation errors can cause patient injury or even death. For example, when a provider gives a patient treatment or medication and then leaves the room and fails to document their actions, another provider may come in and provide the same treatment again, leading to an overdose. Failure to document treatments, writing illegibly, using the wrong abbreviations and entering information into the wrong chart are all common—and potentially dangerous—documentation errors.

Implementing the use of mobile workstations, however, can help providers improve efficiency and note-taking at the bedside, which can reduce errors. With a mobile workstation, hospital staffers can access patient information, review electronic health records, and enter new data and information right from the patient’s bedside, rather than returning to a stationary computer and having to try to remember everything they did in the patient’s room.

Storage Systems Unlimited provides a wide array of mobile workstations—or workstations on wheels—that can help healthcare professionals boost efficiencies and avoid documentation errors by completing all documentation at the patient’s bedside.

3| Patient Falls

Each year, between 700,000 and 1 million patients suffer falls while in U.S. hospitals, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These falls may result in fractures, lacerations or internal bleeding, and can lead to increased utilization of the healthcare system.

Most hospitals take a number of precautions to prevent falls, but one of the most effective ways to prevent falls starts with proactive design. Research shows that patient room design can increase stability during ambulation, serving as a fall protection strategy for frail or elderly patients. For example, the design and layout of IVs, toilets, storage cabinets and other fixtures in a patient room can make a difference in preventing or reducing falls, researchers found.

Storage Systems Unlimited offers comprehensive design and planning services that consider all environmental features to reduce and prevent falls in patient rooms. Whether the hospital is a new construction project or undergoing a renovation, Storage Systems is available to participate in initial planning meetings to discuss the project details, timeline, budget and other considerations. Our team will conduct an on-site review of any existing space and products to determine whether any current products can be reused. We take measurements and pictures and make notes, coming back to the customer with CAD plans showing the placement of all planned products in every department included in the project design.

Storage Systems Unlimited provides a multitude of storage-related products to help hospitals improve patient safety. We also offer preferred pricing, planning, design, installation and project management for healthcare organization and storage systems. Contact us at 1-888-614-0004 or visit to learn more or request a quote.

Creating Functional and Aesthetic Spaces

In developing storage solutions for healthcare facilities, it’s easy to focus only on functionality. Traditionally, the focus has been only on the healthcare professionals who will be using the supplies. However, as the healthcare industry has transformed to become more patient-centric, facility leaders have become increasingly interested in creating spaces that are also aesthetically pleasing and inviting for patients and their families.

As supply chain professionals work to determine storage solutions in the healthcare environment, it’s crucial to focus on creating spaces that satisfy both functional and aesthetic requirements.

Why Function Matters in Healthcare Spaces

A focus on function is important in designing storage solutions because healthcare staffers must be able to easily access the supplies they need when they need them. In addition, supplies must be tracked carefully and replenished regularly.

Functionality involves the layout of the room, the layout and installation of storage products, and the features and benefits of each product selection.

Why Aesthetics Matter in Healthcare Spaces

Aesthetics play an important role in communicating the attention to detail, organization and functionality of any space, and, ultimately, the perception of quality care being delivered.

Studies have shown that well-designed healthcare environments with a home-like feel can help reduce a patient’s anxiety and stress, speed up their recovery time, and provide a sense of well-being. Healthcare facilities focused on aesthetics often attempt to make their environments feel more home-like and less clinical.

How Storage Systems Balances Both Function and Aesthetics

 At Storage Systems Unlimited, we understand the importance of creating spaces that meet both the functional and aesthetic needs of a healthcare facility. Through our planning and design services, we specialize in helping healthcare clients create spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, meeting the needs of healthcare professionals as well as their patients.

The Planning and Design Process

To launch the planning and design phase, Storage Systems will hold a preliminary meeting with a client to determine the specific needs of the facility. That discussion might include environmental factors such as temperature and humidity; which products will be stored in each area; safety protocols; and needs for sterility, security and inventory tracking. We also discuss whether any current storage solutions can be reused, and how to ensure Joint Commission compliance.

“Storage Systems will always ask if a site visit can be made, or that we be included in design and development meetings,” says Catherine Adkins, project manager at Storage Systems Unlimited. “Our ability to see existing departments allows us to see if existing product can be reused and what current capacities are. We will also ask if an equipment list has been compiled, and if we can have a copy of it.”

After Storage Systems has the drawings or an equipment list, or has made a site visit, we develop a quote for the project. The quote involves selecting recommended storage products for each room or area. “When choosing product for a particular room, we take into consideration the equipment list provided to us, the results of our site visit, how the product will be used and, finally, budgetary restraints,” Adkins says. “Once the quote is complete, we turn it over to our CAD department, which places the product in each room and creates an elevation for each product. We take into consideration all codes that apply to storage products, including ADA, fire codes, OSHA, seismic, and life safety.”

A quote from Storage Systems includes a detailed written quote, architectural drawings and spec sheets to go with each product. Storage Systems is always available for on-site visits to review the quote and drawings, and to make revisions until the client is satisfied with both the quote and the drawings.

Planning and design services aren’t needed just for new facilities; Storage Systems often has the opportunity to work with facilities that are expanding or relocating departments within an existing building. For example, a hospital pharmacy director in Longview, Texas, selected Storage Systems to help relocate the current inpatient pharmacy to another floor in the hospital and expand the space at the same time. The 5,000-square-foot project presented several hurdles based on the existing structure and layout of the planned expansion space, but Storage Systems was able to help the department with both technology and workflow changes to increase efficiencies and safety, including customizing products and creating products that would work around existing facility infrastructure beams.

The pharmacy director selected Storage Systems because of its customer service responsiveness and cost. “We gave a tour of the new pharmacy to our executive management and board members and a repetitive remark was made about the units Storage Systems built for us and how well they looked,” he says.

Storage Systems Unlimited provides all storage-related products for every department with a choice of multiple manufacturers. We also offer preferred pricing, planning, design, installation and project management for healthcare organization and storage systems. Contact us at 1-888-614-0004 or visit to learn more or request a quote.