The one thing that all healthcare facilities wish they had more of is space.
Whether it’s in the waiting area, patient exam rooms, operating rooms, or any other parts of the facility, more space to be able to spread out is always better. Creating more space by adding on to or renovating a building is extremely spendy after all of the material, construction, and labor costs, which is why this isn’t a realistic option for a lot of hospitals. The cheaper and more effective option is to use the existing space in a facility more efficiently. So how can healthcare facilities use their space more efficiently?
A great way to start when trying to improve space efficiency is to perform an “audit” of the space in your facility. It’s important to understand how every space is utilized in order to be able to use it more efficiently. All space is not the same, and facilities must make sure that they are designating the right space with the right function. Once the inventory of the space in your facility is compete, there should be a better understanding of which areas are being underutilized and which rooms may be getting too much use. It is a lot easier and cheaper to downgrade a room instead of upgrade, meaning that if there are areas that were set up for one specific purpose, but that aren’t being used very often, it could be a smart idea to make them usable for more day to day operations to add extra space.
Every healthcare facility is unique, with many different designs and layouts, but a lot of facilities are looking to save space in one way or another. The best way to do so, is to make sure that every room is getting the maximum use it can handle. Here are some ideas on how to ensure that your facility is making maximum use of every space:
Increase the capacity of major diagnostic and treatment services: It’s always good to consider multiple options before making a decision, which is why facilities should look into other options before deciding to expand. Investing in newer innovative equipment can be a great way to save space and improve efficiency and is much more cost effective than a full remodel. Another option could be to expand hours of operation in order to be able to treat more patients in the same space and in the same time frame.
Identify space that is underutilized or even vacant: Some hospital rooms are designed for specific purposes and as time goes on these specialized rooms may become obsolete. If there’s rooms in a hospital that are being used infrequently it could be smart to add some extra equipment or change up the room layout in order to use the space for more than just the original specified use. Another easy room to convert could be staff offices. Staff turnover is inevitable in the healthcare industry and office spaces will likely open up either through people leaving. It’s very easy to convert these office spaces to storage space by bringing in some Utility Carts, or other storage solutions. Using carts as storage is very beneficial as they can be easily moved, and if need be, the space can be quickly converted back into an office space.
Identify areas for multi-use or shared space: Procedure rooms are usually used for specific purposes, but there are many ways that this space can be converted into multi-use space. For example, if rooms are not used at least 40 hours every week, then it is not completely efficient. Investing in portable equipment like carts can be a great way to increase the use of these rooms because equipment can be easily switched out to perform whatever procedure is needed.
There are many different ways to save space at a healthcare facility, but the majority of them include utilizing portable equipment in one way or another. Here is some of the portable products from Lakeside Manufacturing that can help improve space efficiency:
Mini Tower Treatment Carts
These carts are specifically designed to save space and fit in tighter areas where other equipment couldn’t. The compact carts are just 24 ¾” wide x 24 ½” long, with a variety of height options. The Mini Tower Treatment Carts are the perfect solution for procedure and patient rooms that need extra storage space, but don’t have room for bulky shelving. There are many different locking options to provide secure storage options for valuable supplies and equipment.
Lakeside has many different options when it comes to utility carts, and they can drastically improve the space efficiency of many different rooms throughout healthcare facilities. Carts range from the classic 300 lb. capacity 311 Utility Cart to the 1000lb. capacity 4938 Utility Cart and everything in between. Utility carts can store and transport all sorts of equipment that can be moved around in order to be utilized to its fullest. For example, many facilities used utility carts to carry ventilators and bring them to patients that desperately needed them in treating COVID-19. These carts are a great way for hospitals to improve their flexibility, which in turn can greatly improve their space efficiency as well as save time and money in transporting heavy equipment to various rooms around a facility.
Compact Utility Stands
Utility stands are a great option for extra work surface and storage space without compromising a lot of extra area in a room. This compact stand is great for the operating room and perfect for holding surgical instruments and other supplies. The compact design allows it to be maneuvered into tighter areas and placed in the most convenient spot for surgeons to work off of. These stands are sure to help save space in rooms that do not have much to work with.
Portable equipment is one of the best ways to save space in healthcare facilities by improving their versatility. Lakeside manufactures many different types of portable equipment that can greatly aid in improving space efficiency in hospitals. Give us a call or send us a message, and we will work with you to help save space and improve efficiency in your facility!