Inside a patient room looking toward the door, you see the patient’s bed, computer equipment, and a tall storage cabinet with three doors.With doors that open into the hallway, and another set of doors that open into the patient room, the pass-through storage cabinet known as a patient server may be modest in appearance but has a big impact. This new feature, part of every patient room at the Pavilion, will offer so much more, improving both patient care and the patient experience.

A Place for Everything

Patient servers are floor-to-ceiling cabinets which hold clinical supplies essential to patient care. Staff from Pharmacy, Nursing, and Materials Management collaborated on the design of the patient server at the Pavilion to ensure it was efficient and effective for their staff and patients. At the Pavilion, each will have three sections. The top one will contain commonly used items in patient care, such as gloves, bandages, alcohol wipes, and IV tubing. This compartment might also hold items requested by a unit to meet a patient’s specific needs, for example, a special type of dressing for a wound.

The patient server can be loaded from the hallway without interruption to patients. Inside the room, nurses can find supplies easily in one place without needing to search.
The patient server can be loaded from the hallway without interruption to patients. Inside the room, nurses can find supplies easily in one place without needing to search.

In the middle section, a drawer will hold patient-specific medications but will not, said Robert Fisher, director of Materials Management, contain controlled substances. It will remain locked; only a pharmacist’s ID badge will open it to add or remove necessary meds. Pharmacy will stock the drawer daily.

The bottom part will contain personal protective equipment (PPE) — e.g., gowns, masks and gloves — for use in rooms with patients on isolation. “We’ll get information about which patients are on isolation from PennChart and only provide PPE to those units,” Fisher said, adding that both of these features will eliminate the need for isolation and medication carts outside of patient rooms, keeping hallways clear.

Easy Access = A Better Experience

In a hallway on a patient floor in the Pavilion, a nurse’s touch down station includes two computer monitors and, to the right of the station, a tall vertical storage cabinet with large upper and lower doors and a smaller door with a lock in the center.All of the unit’s patient care supplies will be kept on a cart in its clean supply room, which Materials Management will restock each evening, according to the unit’s specific needs. “A lot of thought went into not only the design of the patient servers, but also in the support and restocking process,” Fisher said, adding that “the Pavilion will have dedicated support elevators which will get up to the units faster and allow us to stock the carts faster.”

Each day, nursing support associates will gather the items from the clean supply room and distribute them to each room’s patient server, easily accessing the cabinet from the hallway. This feature eliminates the need to enter the room and disturb the patient.

Perhaps the most important element, however, is the easy access to all these essential supplies when providing patient care. With most items at their fingertips, nurses will spend less time looking for and gathering supplies from different locations and more time in direct care activities. A win-win for both nurses and patients.

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