Operating room storage solutions

The operating room (OR) can be a life or death place. A simple surgery can go wrong or it can go better than expected, with this in mind, it’s imperative for patients to leave the hospital in the best health of their lives. With the wrong methodologies set in place for storage, sterilization of instruments or patient centered care, a patient can be leaving sicker than when this person arrived.

Unsterilized conditions are what storage units need to help prevent in an OR setting. All of these  conditions were able to be met with one local installation.

Humidity

The reason that humidity is so important in operating rooms is that it helps control the growth of microorganisms.  An operating room should only have 20 percent humidity levels inside which was set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. These guidelines were revised when old standards were showing significant growth of microorganisms.

If the humidity levels are too high in the operating room this can cause these microorganisms to grow causing infections. These infections happen during the surgery, in return, it causes one of the deadliest and most preventable infections happening every year in hospitals. Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are a leading cause of death in the United States.

In 2017, more than 119,000 people contracted a Staph blood infection and nearly 20,000 died from these infections. There are four other common HAIs that can be contracted during a patient’s hospital stay. This is why the conditions of sterile storage in operating rooms is critical.

Importance of sterile storage

In an OR setting, one of the most critical understandings is properly sterilized instruments and the right medical storage cabinets to keep these items sterilized. The sterilization process of reusable medical items is supposed to kill all bacteria, fungi, viruses, spores and other harmful and unwanted microorganisms that try to attach themselves to these medical instruments. The sterilization is the first process, but the storage of these medical supplies is a vital second step. The tools need to be able to store the items in a humidity controlled space that are made out of materials that will not allow for microorganisms to survive.

This is where Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc. is able to help OR wings and the healthcare system with medical storage cabinets.

A great example to use is the Nebraska Heart Institute located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Nebraska Heart Institute updated their current location everything needed to be up to JCAHO standards and in line with patient-care models set in place. This installation focused on several customized medical storage cabinets that provided the following benefits:

  • Less space

  • Ability to automate inventory

  • Less hunting and gathering items

  • Increase in efficiencies

The storage units that were installed were: wire-racking shelving with quantum medical bins and static shelving. Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc. was able to draw up exactly what Jackie R. Mendoza, RN., wanted the units to hold and how they should function. Mendoza explains that the storage units needed to be free of contaminants, easy to access, optimize space and fit within their budget.

The units protected sterile items from humidity and helped to control humidity levels inside of the storage units themselves. All items were able to be tracked and keep them sterilized until they were ready for usage.

Fast forward to now, Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc. has been able to enhance and provide more local hospitals with the best storage on the market. For more information on our healthcare storage units, give us a call today!

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