Storage Systems Unlimited

Category: Smart Solutions

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.

Single-Use vs. Reusable Endoscopes: Balancing Patient Safety, Financial Considerations and Environmental Impact

Endoscopies are common medical procedures that allow a doctor to look inside a person’s body and observe an internal organ in detail using an endoscope—a long, thin tube with a camera at one end. An estimated 75 million endoscopies are performed each year in the United States—and 68% (51.5 million) of those are gastrointestinal endoscopies. Other areas include the respiratory tract; ear; urinary tract; female reproductive tract; and through small incisions into an abdominal or pelvic cavity, interior of a joint, or organs of the chest.

In recent years, conversations about single-use and reusable endoscopes have increased within the healthcare industry—specifically about the use of single-use endoscopes. This escalating interest can be attributed to several key factors. First and foremost, patient safety has emerged as an important concern, urging physicians to scrutinize endoscopic procedures. The potential risks associated with inadequate sterilization of reusable endoscopes have spurred discussions about single-use alternatives. Moreover, rising healthcare costs have prompted healthcare organizations to assess the financial implications of adopting either option. The environmental impact of medical waste generated by single-use endoscopes has also fueled debate.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of single-use and reusable endoscopes, especially as it relates to patient safety, financial implications and environmental impact.

Prioritizing Patient Safety: The Soaring Adoption of Single-Use Endoscopes

Single-use endoscopes have gained significant popularity in recent years—specifically because of an increased focus on patient safety and research suggesting cross-contamination. Reusable endoscopes, despite undergoing meticulous cleaning and sterilization processes, can still harbor residual bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that pose a threat to subsequent patients. In fact, in October 2021, the American Journal of Gastroenterology issued an analysis of studies published from 2010 to 2020, concluding that nearly 20% of reprocessed patient-ready gastrointestinal endoscopes may be contaminated with microorganisms.

Even with strict protocols and cleaning requirements in place, it is nearly impossible to guarantee total elimination of all contaminants, especially because of the complex design of endoscopes with multiple crevices that are difficult to access during cleaning. By contrast, single-use endoscopes are sterile, providing a fresh and uncontaminated tool for each procedure. This significantly reduces the risk of infectious transmission between patients and helps maintain a safer healthcare environment. 

Reusable endoscopes are also subject to wear and tear over time, as well as damage from repeated sterilization processes, which can compromise their functionality and effectiveness. Inadequate cleaning or sterilization can lead to the buildup of debris, residual fluids or biofilms, increasing the risk of infection or inflammatory reactions when the endoscope is used on subsequent patients. Single-use endoscopes, on the other hand, are designed for one-time use and are manufactured to high standards of quality and sterility. This reduces the likelihood of technical malfunctions or suboptimal imaging quality that could potentially impact patient safety. 

Financial Considerations in the Reusable vs. Single-Use Endoscope Debate

When deciding between reusable and single-use endoscopes, hospitals and healthcare facilities must consider the costs associated with both options. Single-use endoscopes may have higher costs upfront, but healthcare supply chain executives must consider the long-term costs associated with reusable endoscopes when making the decision. 

The reprocessing of reusable endoscopes incurs extra costs. It requires investment in cleaning and sterilization equipment, as well as the use of chemicals and skilled personnel for proper reprocessing. These expenses can add up over time. Because reusable endoscopes are prone to wear and tear, they may require repairs or replacement of damaged components. These costs, along with the associated downtime during repairs, can be significant and impact the financial bottom line.

Evaluating Environmental Implications: Single-Use vs. Reusable Endoscopes

The choice between single-use endoscopes and reusable endoscopes not only involves patient safety conversations and financial considerations, but also raises important environmental impact concerns. Hospitals and healthcare organizations are increasingly concerned about sustainability and the environmental impact of their operations. The scale of their operations, coupled with the continuous need for patient care, results in substantial resource consumption and waste generation. By focusing on sustainability, hospitals aim to minimize their ecological footprint and conserve resources.

This increased focus on sustainability and the environment is another key factor in the single-use vs. reusable endoscope debate. Endoscopy is healthcare’s third-largest cause of medical waste in hospitals, according to a 2022 study published in the BMJ journal Gut. Single-use endoscopes, while offering convenience and sterility, contribute to the generation of medical waste.

On the other hand, reusable endoscopes have the potential to reduce the amount of waste generated in healthcare facilities. Although there is waste associated with reprocessing, it is still significantly less than what it would be with single-use endoscopes. A 2021 study published in Gut suggested that, “replacing reusable with single-use endoscopes and accounting for reduced waste from reprocessing of endoscopes would increase total waste mass by 40%.”

The choice between single-use endoscopes and reusable endoscopes is a complex decision that involves considerations of patient safety, financial implications and environmental impact. While single-use endoscopes offer advantages in terms of sterility and reduced risk of cross-contamination, they contribute to increased medical waste. Reusable endoscopes, on the other hand, can help reduce waste generation through proper reprocessing and extended use, but require significant investments in cleaning, maintenance and repairs.

Whether you are looking to maximize space with a high-density storage system for single-use endoscopes or need drying cabinets for reusable endoscopes, we can help. Storage Systems Unlimited offers a variety of storage cabinets to help meet your facility’s unique needs and requirements. For more information or to obtain a quote, contact us at 1-888-614-0004.

Rolling in Durability: The Benefits of Steel and Aluminum Medical Carts

As medical facilities continue to evolve, the tools and equipment utilized by medical professionals must also adapt to meet the growing demands of the healthcare industry. Medical carts, specifically, have become a critical component, providing mobility and organization for medical equipment and supplies. When it comes to selecting a medical cart, one of the most important considerations is the material it is made of. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between steel and aluminum metal carts, helping you make an informed decision for your healthcare facility.

Durability: Strength That Withstands Wear and Tear

Durability is an important factor when it comes to medical carts that ensure heavy usage and rough handling. While both steel and aluminum offer durability, steel is widely regarded as the stronger and more durable material. Its robustness enables it to withstand wear and tear, making it less likely to dent, scratch, break or bend.

Weight: Finding the Right Balance of Mobility

In many cases, a cart is meant to be moved—and the weight of medical carts plays a pivotal role in their mobility. Aluminum carts have gained popularity due to their lightweight nature, allowing healthcare employees to effortlessly maneuver them from one room to another. These carts offer ease of transportation without compromising on functionality. Conversely, steel carts are heavier and better suited for areas where they will be stationary, such as operating rooms, where stability and sturdiness take precedence over mobility.

Cost: Maximizing Your Investment

Financial considerations are important for any healthcare facility. Steel carts tend to be more cost-effective compared to aluminum carts. The abundance of steel as a material and the ease of its manufacturing contribute to its affordability. On the other hand, aluminum is a more expensive material, and it requires a more complex manufacturing process, thus making aluminum carts a pricier option.

Aesthetics: Balancing Functionality and Style

While functionality should take precedence, aesthetics can’t be overlooked. Steel carts exude an industrial look, which can be appropriate in some medical environments. On the other hand, aluminum carts offer a more modern and sleek appearance, which can complement contemporary healthcare facilities. Additionally, aluminum carts are available in a wider range of colors.

Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Facility

Selecting the right material for your medical cart is a decision that involves evaluating multiple factors, including durability, weight, cost, and aesthetics. Steel carts provide strength and affordability, making them an excellent choice for high-intensity environments. Alternatively, aluminum carts offer lightweight mobility and a modern appearance, catering to facilities where maneuverability and aesthetics are important. Ultimately, the decision between the two materials will depend on the unique needs and preferences of the medical facility.

If your facility needs updated medical carts, look no further. Storage Systems Unlimited is your one-stop shop for all your medical cart options. Need more guidance on selecting the right product for your hospital or department? Allow Storage Systems Unlimited help assess your needs and answer your questions. Contact us at 1-888-614-0004 or click here to request a quote.