4 tips to storing healthcare products
Tuesday, Aug 20th 2013

Healthcare and pharmaceutical facilities see a lot of products pass through their inventory on a daily basis. However, despite the fast-pace of the medical environment, supplies still have varying amounts of time within which they can be safely used. Here are a few steps to take to optimize the storage process and make the most of the products:

1. Climate control
One of the most prevalent causes of deterioration in healthcare products is the fact that they're not in the right environment. Each item has specific conditions that must be fulfilled to remain usable. Extreme heat and cold can damage the items, and cause an entire inventory to go bad at once, according to Smithville Self Storage. Temperature monitoring will help keep the products within the appropriate range. Outside environmental shifts can affect the internal storage temperatures, making monitoring the only safeguard to ensure that the products are always in the necessary conditions.

2. Keep it organized
Healthcare and pharmaceutical products should be arranged in a way that makes sense and tracks each product. Similar items need to be put together for easy searchability. Items with a shorter shelf-life should be put in front of newer products in order to circulate the supply and ensure that clients receive effective treatment, according to the World Health Organization. If items expire before being used or are of poor quality, they need to be identified and appropriately disposed of to keep the flow of available products.

"The order in which you receive products is not necessarily the order in which they will expire," according to the source. "Products you received most recently may expire sooner than the products you received earlier. It is extremely important to check expiry dates and to make sure that the dates are visible while the products are in storage."

3. Run routine checks
With medication and supplies, it's in the facility's best interest to consistently count inventory. This will not only ensure that the correct amount was delivered, but also to better monitor what is going out to customers as well. If something is missing, it's a sign that the situation needs to be investigated more thoroughly in order to get to the bottom of the issue. Missing items may hint at a robbery or dishonest employee who hasn't been caught. According to the Jack L. Hayes International 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey, dishonest employee apprehensions increased by 5.5 percent in 2012, SecurityInfoWatch reported. Many organizations have begun routine inventory patrols to cut down on the trend.

4. Establish security
If the inventory control doesn't deter thieves, a security system is another way to monitor the supply. Most storage facilities have safety features including cameras and keypad access to protect the products while in transit, according to Smithville Self Storage. However, the healthcare and pharmaceutical facilities could also use extra eyes to ensure that the items are constantly watched. Medication requires protection while in the hands of the provider to help those that need it.

Keeping healthcare products in the wrong conditions can reduce its viability and hurt the supply's integrity. With both security and temperature monitoring, the items will be well protected and ensure that they remain effective for clients.