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 storagesystemsul.com to learn more or request a quote.