Storage Systems Unlimited

8 Characteristics to Look for in a Bedside Cart

The influential Canadian-born physician Sir William Osler (1849–1918) understood the importance of “bedside manner.” Osler, who as a founding physician of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital introduced bedside clinical training for medical students, knew that the best doctors excel at both the clinical and the humane sides of their profession. In his words, “The practice of medicine is an art, based on science.”

While much has changed since the days of Sir William Osler, the fundamental human need for clinically sound, compassionate healthcare remains a constant. And today’s clinicians have access to a continuously growing arsenal of tools that help them be at their best for their patients. Among those essential tools are bedside carts, also known as point-of-care carts.

Bedside carts come in a variety of designs, functionalities and sizes to meet the full range of clinical needs across hospitals, surgery centers and clinics. The “right one for the job” depends on the setting and the need, but it should facilitate the timely, effective and efficient delivery of healthcare services. With that in mind, here are eight characteristics to look for in a bedside cart.

1 | Mobility

The point of a cart is its ability to be moved quickly from one location to another, enabling doctors and nurses to carry with them the equipment or medications they need to care for a given patient. Ease of transport is essential, and features such as premium wheels and casters for braking, tracking and swiveling make this possible.

2 | Functionality

Where will the cart be used? What types of doctors or other clinicians will be using it, and for what kinds of care? Does the cart need to be able to house a computer? In some cases, versatility might be an asset, while other circumstances call for more specialized applications. Departmental leaders should have a fairly clear idea of their greatest needs and what functions might make the most sense for their bedside carts to fill.

3| Customizability

Buying “off the rack” isn’t always a good idea, and it isn’t necessary when many carts can be configured to meet a department’s specific needs. Custom features include size and number of drawers, lock type, color and accessories. Accessories can include IV poles, sharps container holders, defibrillator shelves, cardiac boards, oxygen tank holders, catheter holders, glove dispensers and waste containers.

4| Accessibility

The clinicians who will be using the cart should be able to gain access to it and its contents—including information—with as little friction and frustration as possible. Those who won’t, on the other hand, should be deterred from unauthorized access.

5| Efficiency

Simply put: Does it enable clinicians to do their jobs effectively without wasting valuable time? Having the necessary medical equipment, technologies, medications, supplies, information and electrical power readily available in one portable unit cuts down on extra trips across the department or hospital.

6| Safety and security

Protecting patients (and their personal information) and limiting risk are essential to the healthcare mission. Depending on your specific needs, choose from pushbutton, key or radio frequency identification (RFID) locks. Some bedside carts are equipped with multiple alarms, which can be transmitted as both audible alert and email/text notifications.

7| Durability

A busy bedside cart racks up a lot of miles and should be built to go the distance. That means sturdy construction and stability; some carts have built-in stabilizer systems to prevent tipping.

8| Convenience

Carts should be easy to access, store, clean and disinfect. They shouldn’t take up more space than they have to, and they should make clinicians’ jobs easier—not give them something else to worry about.

Possession of the right tools, including carts, will enhance the ability of your clinicians to deliver outstanding healthcare while exhibiting an empathetic bedside manner. At Storage Systems Unlimited, we offer a wide array of bedside carts from manufacturers including Waterloo, InterMetro, TouchPoint Medical, Capsa Healthcare and Detecto.

Need more guidance on selecting the right bedside carts for your hospital or department? We are happy to help you assess your needs and answer your questions. Storage Systems Unlimited provides bedside carts and 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.

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.

Putting Patient Safety at the Forefront: Helping Hospitals Follow Endoscope Reprocessing Guidelines

Patient safety is a top priority in healthcare. Unfortunately, despite the measures that healthcare organizations take to keep patients safe and healthy, healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are a significant cause of illness and even death. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that at any given time, nearly 1 in 31 patients receiving in-patient care have an infection related to their hospital care.

A subset of these HAIs is endoscope-associated infections, which are caused by contaminated endoscopes that were not correctly reprocessed and sterilized. In October 2021, the American Journal of Gastroenterology issued an analysis of studies published from 2010 to 2020 and revealed that nearly 20% of reprocessed patient-ready gastrointestinal endoscopes may be contaminated with microorganisms.

Standards for reprocessing are necessary to reduce endoscope-associated infections. Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates and the Association for the Advance of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) have all issued recommendations and guidelines for endoscope reprocessing programs.

In 2016, the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and the CDC issued a report that recommended ways to reduce the risk of endoscope- and instrument-related HAIs.

In the report, the CDC and HICPAC say that healthcare facilities “should have a reliable, high-quality system for endoscope reprocessing which minimizes infection risks.” The report gives seven essential steps for high-quality cleaning and reprocessing:

  1. Pre-cleaning. Following the device manufacturer’s instructions, staff should perform pre-cleaning immediately after the completion of the endoscope procedure to help prevent biofilm from forming.
  2. Leak testing. If the endoscope requires leak testing, it should be performed after each use and prior to the manual cleaning. This helps detect damage to the endoscope.
  3. Manual cleaning. Manual cleaning should be meticulous—and include “brushing and flushing channels and ports” consistent with the manufacturer’s instructions for use. HICPAC and the CDC call this “the most critical step in the disinfection process.”
  4. Visual inspection. Reprocessing staff should conduct a thorough visual inspection of the endoscope and its accessories to ensure that they are clean and free of defects.
  5. Disinfection or sterilization. After manual cleaning and visual inspection are complete, a high-level disinfection or sterilization should be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  6. Storage. When cleaning and reprocessing is complete, endoscopes and accessories should be stored in a way that prevents recontamination, protects against damage and promotes drying.
  7. Documentation. Documentation of each step’s completion is necessary each time an endoscope is reprocessed for quality assurance purposes.

Why Drying and Storage Cabinets Are a Critical Part of Reprocessing

In March 2022, the AAMI released a report with a revised set of endoscope reprocessing guidelines. The AAMI’s updated recommendations include a “heightened focus on endoscope drying,” because the presence of moisture can increase the risk of infection, and storage recommendations.

Research, which was published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection, found that when endoscopes were stored in a drying and storage cabinet, the “microbial contamination levels on endoscopes were lower than the number of bacteria initially introduced and could decrease considerably thereafter.” For endoscopes that were stored outside of the drying storage cabinet, the microbial numbers stayed the same or increased.

In the past, the AAMI wrote in a 2020 report, “many facilities stored patient-ready endoscopes in transport bins, in original endoscope boxes with foam inserts, and upright in cabinets with and without air flow.” Instead, the organization writes, storage solutions should have active air circulation, forced-air designs or both.

At Storage Systems Unlimited, we offer the InnerSpace Ventaire Scope Drying and Tracking Cabinet, which is compatible with all major endoscope brands, along with offerings from other manufacturers. “The Ventaire cabinet includes an automated system that provides consistent and continuous delivery of HEPA-filtered, pressurized air into all endoscope channels to keep scopes dry and vented,” InnerSpace explains.

The Ventaire cabinet’s 10-inch display screen shows real-time information, including endoscope locations, storage times, channel availability, and the temperature and humidity level inside the cabinet. It also displays the time before scopes are expired, and the system can generate a report detailing all scope activity—including when they are checked in and checked out.

Using the cabinet can help hospitals and healthcare organizations reduce the number of endoscope-associated infections and improve patient safety. To learn more or to get pricing on the InnerSpace Ventaire Scope Drying and Tracking Cabinet, contact us at 1-888-614-0004.

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.

How Storage Systems Saves You Time and Energy

Developing storage solutions for hospital inventory can involve selecting a wide variety of products from multiple manufacturers. Making decisions about the right carts, shelving, cabinets, plastic bins and other space saving products to organize each type of supplies can be overwhelming.

That’s why it makes sense to work with a one-stop provider who can offer access to a wide variety of manufacturers’ products. With just one contact, hospital decision makers can learn about and order the products they need from an array of suppliers.

For example, over the past 40 years, Storage Systems Unlimited has developed long-standing relationships with dozens of manufacturers that provide healthcare storage options for every department. “Our consolidated approach to representing multiple brands allows us to do the shopping for our customers, providing all the possible options on a single quote,” says Catherine Adkins, project manager at Storage Systems Unlimited. “This ensures you receive the best products at the best price while saving you time and energy.”

By working with a full-service storage solution provider like Storage Systems, hospital supply chain professionals can save significant time and energy. Relying on a vendor to guide product selection, planning and design, installation and project management means supply chain professionals are able to use their time and energy on other strategic pursuits.

Product Selection

Choosing storage products from a vendor that represents just one or two manufacturers limits your options and can require you to spend significant extra time and energy. For example, if one manufacturer offers the storage solutions you need for the operating room but not what you want for the nurses’ station, you’ll be forced to contact other vendors and review their options separately until you find the right products for each department.

On the other hand, when you work with a one-stop provider like Storage Systems Unlimited, you can access the best prices on thousands of storage-related products like shelving, carts, cabinets, lockers and workstations from dozens of leading manufacturers. “Because we represent multiple manufacturers, we can provide you pricing options on, for instance, wire shelving from InterMetro, Lakeside, Eagle, LogiQuip and Quantum,” Adkins says.

Planning and Design

When you’re building a new facility or remodeling an existing facility, you can save time and energy by including Storage Systems from the early stages of planning and design. And when you work with a full-service vendor, that’s part of the process.

“We can provide planning and design services to meet strict engineering and government codes on product add-ons, renovations, expansions, new facilities and more,” Adkins says. In addition to serving as a distributor for storage-related products, Storage Systems also helps with consolidating products for facility construction projects. That includes on-site product evaluation and inventory, reuse of existing products, supplying CAD drawings to show layout of products on architectural plans, and coordinating installation with the general contractor.


Selecting the right storage products and getting the best prices are just the beginning. To get supplies organized and ready for use, those storage products must be installed properly and safely. Coordinating installation for cabinets, shelving and other storage products can be a time-consuming endeavor.

Storage Systems Unlimited employs licensed and bonded installers to properly assemble and install every product it sells. “Our team will receive the products, unbox, assemble, install and even haul away the trash when we finish,” Adkins says.

Project Management

When you purchase storage products from individual manufacturers, you are responsible for product selection, installation and coordination with construction managers. However, when you rely on a full-service storage solution provider to manage the entire project, you can conserve your time and energy for other tasks and pursuits.

“We coordinate every project from start to finish, on time and on budget, with thorough communication throughout the process with the buyer, contractor and end user,” Adkins says. “Storage Systems works on projects of all sizes across the United States, giving customers quick access to our customer service, installation and project management teams.”

At Storage Systems Unlimited, we provide 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.

How to Optimize Storage Spaces to Be More Efficient

Delivering high-quality healthcare depends on having tools and supplies available and ready to use when they are needed. But to provide access to the right supplies at the right moment, healthcare organizations must have those supplies stored properly with the right amount of inventory to avoid both waste and scarcity.

By optimizing their storage space, hospital leaders can effectively tackle the ongoing challenges of inventory and supply management, ensuring that their clinicians will always have access to the supplies they need to provide safe, efficient care. An important key to creating optimized storage spaces is choosing and using the right storage solutions.

High-Density Shelving

 Rather than relying on the traditional shelves and cabinets that may have been installed in your facility years ago, optimize your storage with high-density shelving. These systems are available in manual, mechanical-assist and electrically operated styles, depending on the type and weight of supplies to be stored.

High-density solutions can more than double your storage capacity or free up space for other uses,” says Catherine Adkins, project manager at Storage Systems Unlimited. “These systems maximize space utilization by eliminating aisles and compacting several storage cabinets or shelving systems into a much smaller amount of space. An aisle or access to your supplies is opened only when and where you need it by easily shifting entire rows of shelving.”

This type of shelving has become increasingly popular for optimizing storage space in all sorts of commercial buildings. Storage Systems Unlimited installs high-density storage solutions in hospitals as well as golf courses, college athletic departments, attorney offices and prisons.

Hanging Wire Baskets

Another powerful product for optimizing hospital storage space is the wall mount louvered panel, which can hold wire baskets. These panels with hanging wire baskets can drastically increase capacity and efficiency in supply rooms.

“By using the wire baskets, you eliminate most of the dust that can collect in plastic bins,” Adkins says. “The wire baskets allow for better line of sight for the nurses and supply chain staff when locating certain supplies.”

Many healthcare facilities use wire shelving, but that can create too much wasted space and lead to wasted resources. Supplies often fall behind the wire shelving and are not found until they have expired. Hanging wire baskets, on the other hand, reduce wasted space all around. The supplies cannot fall behind the louvered panels, so inventory control is much easier. Also, the baskets are available with modular dividers as well as label holders of various types and colors, all of which can help staffers keep supplies organized and readily seen.

Carts of All Types

Aside from shelving and cabinetry, carts are an important product for optimizing storage—and there is a wide variety of carts that can help hospitals better manage supplies. Crash carts are always popular, and hospitals are increasingly using in-room or bedside carts.

“Sometimes the supply room is not conveniently located to all exam rooms or patient areas, and having supplies at the bedside will improve patient experience and increase the time staff can spend with the patients,” Adkins says.

In addition, procedure-specific carts can be helpful during traumas or surgeries, when specific items are needed immediately. For example, these carts may be useful in an ER or OR with cases such as malignant hyperthermia, casting or difficult airways.

Computer carts enable safe, secure and efficient solutions by utilizing technology. Healthcare providers can improve data accuracy and patient safety by using computer carts to deliver high-quality patient care. And with point-of-care solution carts, caregivers can readily enter and access patient information by using secure technology at the patient’s bedside.

Storage Systems Unlimited offers 47 cart types, with dozens of variations for each type. Selecting and using the right carts can be a powerful solution for optimizing storage across your facility.

Customized Design

Because every healthcare facility has unique storage needs and available storage spaces, it can be helpful to utilize customized planning and design services for optimizing storage solutions. For example, Storage Systems Unlimited offers planning, design, installation and project management—and, by leveraging long-standing relationships with numerous manufacturers, can mix and match carts and solutions from various manufacturers to meet the needs of each department.

“We aim to be a one-stop shop for material managers and supply chain managers for hospitals, surgery centers and private physician groups across the United States,” Adkins says. “Our ability to customize any shelf, table or cart ensures that we are providing exactly what the end user wants at very competitive pricing.”

With more than 40 years of experience providing customized storage solutions, Storage Systems Unlimited is able to give recommendations for the entire floor plan in a brand-new hospital and provide consulting on revamping existing storage space that needs to be reshaped or updated.