Storage of custom procedure trays should be in a dry place away from walls and suspended from the floor, while being likewise a good distance from the ceiling. There are some trays that can be stacked one atop another, and some that cannot. It depends on the operations for which the trays are intended. Generally, even should the trays be stackable, it’s a good idea to separate them where possible. When ordering families of trays, run the numbers beforehand to see what you’ll need so you’ll know where to store them. The area should be dry and sterilized beforehand. The last thing to consider is accessibility. For increased productivity, your trays need to be easily accessible. Ensuring that where you’ve chosen to store them is secure will also require regular monitoring. Ceilings will leak, and microbial life tends to collect on the walls and in the corners of rooms. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”. It is recommendable to have a regular sterilization procedure every several weeks or months, depending on your facility. A practice in a humid climate like Florida will need more regular sterilization than one in the relatively waterless wasteland of Nevada–but there probably won’t be as many scorpions skittering around Florida.
While it’s always recommendable to have secondary and tertiary means of sterilization on-site, using them on a regular basis can be costly and unnecessarily wasteful. But when custom procedure trays consolidate operations, you can get more done in a day. Imagine ten minutes being saved per operation. If you could only get to six one-hour procedures in a day before, now you can do seven. Also, when there are emergencies, critical time that would otherwise be lost can be recouped.
These excellent advantages require handling procedures that are properly conducted. With custom trays, you’re going to want several echelons in storage. You’ll want to order a group of custom procedure trays for regular operations, a group as a backup should unexpected operational volume occur, and a third group as an emergency contingency should Murphy’s Law decide to make a guest appearance for some unpredictable reason. Think of it like keeping additional coolant in an old vehicle. You may never need it; but it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. After several operational cycles, the additional cost will be absorbed in savings from consolidation and productivity anyway. Perhaps think of it as a rental deposit on a facility.
There are many advantages associated with custom procedure trays. Several notable advantages include:
When you can simply pick up a tray and start the surgery without sourcing items, valuable minutes are shaved from preparation time in the operational theater. This cuts down the complexity of any given surgery. Since you don’t have to put together your tools a la carte, your inventory costs are reduced while consolidated. Additionally, this means you’ll experience less cross-contamination, as there are reduced opportunities for such contamination to occur. Since you’re using less materials, packaging accoutrements are reduced, as well as the waste which occurs from maintaining regular sterilization procedures employed on-site. Part of that waste is energy consumption.
The last thing to consider when properly handling custom procedure trays is the way in which they are disposed of. Especially in operations which may expose implements to communicable contaminants, such biohazard waste should be neutralized effectively and safely.