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Keeping Medical Supplies Safe: Policies and Procedures

Keeping medical supplies and devices safely stored is an important aspect of healthcare management. There are many policies and procedures regarding the safekeeping of these supplies.

One of the basic components of any policy is using lockable medical storage drawers and cabinets.

What are medical supplies and devices?

Medical supplies and devices are defined as any tool or equipment used in the prevention, diagnosis, assessment, monitoring, or treatment of a disease or condition. Although there are hundreds or more tools and supplies used by doctors, nurses and other healthcare field professionals, there are a few main types.

These supplies include single-use, single patient use, and limited use devices.

Single Use device policies and procedures

Single use only (disposable) devices include syringes, catheters, gauze, irrigation syringes, and scalpels, among others. They are not intended to be reused under any circumstances, even for the same patient.

Because single-use medical supplies can be biohazardous or harmful if re-used, all of these devices must be labeled “Do Not Reuse” and packaged individually. They should be kept in medical storage drawers, separate from any drawers used for reusable devices. These supplies are to be used during one procedure, then disposed of safely in the correct receptacles (e.g., Biohazard containers).

Single Patient Use device policies and procedures

Other single patient use supplies include nebulizer masks and tubing, infusion equipment and others. They can be reused on the same patient but should be processed and cleaned, according to manufacturer instructions. These medical supplies should never be used on more than one patient, even if they have been cleaned and reprocessed.

Single patient use devices are to be kept safely in medical storage drawers and labeled. The duration of use is to be determined by the staff using and reprocessing these supplies.

Reusable device policies and procedures

Reusable medical devices and tools include stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, heartbeat monitors, surgical forceps, and the like. These supplies can be reused from patient to patient after undergoing the correct decontamination processes.

These reusable devices must also be stored in labeled and lockable medical storage drawers. They are also subject to disposal procedures and rules after a certain amount of time.

Medical storage drawers and keeping supplies safe

Medical storage drawers play a major role in the safekeeping of medical supplies and devices. They can be locked, moved, and are only accessible to staff who are trained and knowledgeable about the supplies and devices inside. Without these tools, important supplies would be susceptible to misplacement, mislabeling, and even theft or accidental incorrect use.

All of these would present a significant risk to patients and staff alike, including disease transmission and infection. The use of correct procedures and policies for keeping medical supplies safe is one of the essential skills in the healthcare field.

Having the correct storage equipment makes this task easier and more efficient while protecting patient and staff health and wellbeing.

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