Standardize Central Supply Rooms

Monday, 30 October 2017: 1:55 PM

Stephanie Wooten, BSN
Endoscopy, Midland Memorial Hospital, Midland, TX, USA

Problem: Inconsistency in stocking central supply rooms, excessive time hunting and gathering for supplies, increased time away from patient bedside. Anecdotal data from staff include “my patient was left in their room alone crying while it took me five minutes to find tissues, and “we have to use the 4x4 gauze when all we need is a 2x2 piece”.

Population: Floor staff members

Intervention Color coding and grouping standardize central supply rooms

Comparison no color coding or grouping of common supplies

Outcome decrease time looking for items

Time: Over 2 months

“Color-coded labeling of controls and other artifacts may reduce the likelihood of error…” (Cicconi, Eibling, Mangione, 2012). “Standardization means reducing unnecessary variation in a process…reducing variation in…equipment, and supplies means that providers and staff don’t have to waste time looking for needed items either before or during a patient visit” (Institute for Health care Improvement, n.d.).


Standardize central supply rooms across the facility

Create efficiency and ease of stocking and finding supplies

Color code areas into sections

  • Orange- Toiletries/Basics
  • Green- GI/GU
  • Blue- Respiratory
  • Red- Wound care
  • White- Miscellaneous
  • Yellow- Sterile supplies, Isolation


  • Complete scavenger hunt and questionnaire within 1 week
  • Compile results for implementation plan


  • Restock central supply room on one willing unit in 2 week
  • Educate CS staff, nurses and patient care assistants
  • Small test of change
    • Implement standardized stocking Medical Unit


  • Complete post scavenger hunt and questionnaire within 1 week
  • Compile results to determine effectiveness

As frontline staff, it is our duty to help create a user friendly environment that promotes the finest care for all patients. The nurse and other medical personnel should be able to perform timely, consistent, and positive care to persons admitted to our hospital.

How do our voices get heard? This was a question I had asked myself while working on the medical/surgical floors. Too often taken away from the bedside in search of items needed to perform appropriate patient care. Luckily, within our hospital we promote evidence based practice and utilization of projects from the frontline staff. The Academy of Inquisitive Thinking is such an impactful starting point to be able to brainstorm, discuss and create plans to make positive change within our hospital.

The academy taught me how to engage and collaborate with other nurses, administration as well as other hospital personnel to begin change. This assisted in the realization that there is a place for our voices to be heard and to promote change within the organization.

Follow-up with projects would be my only addition to this academy. Once our idea has been discussed and a plan has been made it would be helpful to have a follow-up with the group leaders or peers to discuss project outcomes. If there are any blocks, problems or questions would be a great place to work through these issues so projects do not get left at a standstill.