Category Archives: Healthcare

Project of the Month: Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Located in Barrington, Illinois, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital is one of the 450 sites of care that make up the Advocate Network. As the largest health system in Illinois as well as the largest emergency and Level 1 Trauma network in the state, Advocate hospitals need efficient and effective workspaces and environments in order to meet the demanding needs of healthcare.

In collaboration with Advocate’s Director of Surgical, Donna Ackerman, it was decided that systems would be developed and installed for the Sterile Process Department, OR Core, and Prep and Pack locations of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

Sterile, Efficient & Reliable Hospital Storage Solutions 

We installed six separate ActivRac 7m systems with stainless steel floor mounted rails that were to be used in storing sterilized OR instrument wrapped packs, metal instrument trays, bone and joint replacements, OR supplies as well as pillows and linens.

We also installed three HD 3×2 systems with modified peg boards to match Advocates precise standards. These units were to be used to store operating instruments after sterilization, instrument parts and gaskets, and pre-wrapped sterile packs.


The project began in 2013, assisted by HOK, with extensive storage planning on options, surveys and capacity comparisons. We were able to create optimal storage capacity by implementing 24” back to back post sections with waterfall wire shelving, four of these systems are dual sided MA.  

Some of the areas use Kanban with back to back 11” deep shelving. In the middle of the OR corridor, we installed two OR core systems in the center surrounded by 12 OR rooms. We developed these systems with ¼” thick polycarbonate end and top panels to allow for easy viewing of the materials inside.

Once Donna Ackerman saw the additional capacity that could be gained by going with High Density Mobile Storage, it was easy for her to push for our systems. Additionally, it was the ease of movement over traditional top track type systems and industrial grade durability that further sold her on the benefits of our products.

Stacking Your Hospital Beds? You Should Be.

Searching for effective hospital storage solutions, where extra space is always at a premium? Stop looking around, and start looking up!

That’s the bright idea behind new versatile bed stacking technology for healthcare applications, and clients couldn’t be happier with the results. Read on to learn more, and find out if a vertical hospital bed lift system is right for you.

How Vertical Hospital Bed Storage Works

By itself, a single hospital bed doesn’t take up much space in a hospital hallway or unit. However, add a second bed next to it, and a third bed, and that space starts to disappear pretty quickly. Now, take those three beds and stack them on top of each other. Their entire footprint shrinks to the size of just one bed, allowing for multiple units to be stored without wasting precious space. That’s how vertical hospital bed storage works.

What’s more, with vertical solutions like the Vidir BedLift system, there is no heavy lifting required! Vidir has perfected hospital bed storage by developing a motorized rack to stack and secure beds from the floor to the ceiling. Think of it as an elevator for your hospital’s unused beds. Benefits of the Vidir BedLift system include:

  • Push-button loading and retrieval
  • One-person operation
  • LIFO picking (last in/first out configuration)
  • Customizable rack heights for storing multiple beds
  • Space-saving design
  • Safe and reliable
  • Removal of fire hazards and other risks

Is a Vertical Bed Lift System Right for Us?

Still not sure if a vertical hospital bed lift is the best solution for your needs? Talk to the team at Bradford Systems today. We offer custom lift systems designed for everything from small clinics to major medical centers. Ask about electrical specifications, rack capabilities, and more. We can even install systems that accommodate heavy-duty and bariatric beds.

Gone are the days of pushing unused stretchers and hospital beds out of the way, or running from unit to unit and floor to floor in search of a spare bed. Thanks to the Vidir BedLift available from Bradford Systems, safe, convenient, and centralized hospital bed storage is now possible. Contact us today to learn more about our bed lift systems.

The Benefits of Information Management Services

As technologies evolve over time and tech trends come and go, one aspect remains constant throughout: the importance of securely storing information. Whether you are a small business or a major corporation, operate out of a home office or a skyscraper, the need for information management is essential to your success.

How do you track the effectiveness of your organization’s information management? The answer is simple: You let us do it for you.

What Information Management Service Is Right for You?

Information Management, or IM, is the cycle of procuring, securing, distributing, and storing/disposing of physical and digital information. Information Management Services (IMS) is one of our core areas of expertise. What makes IM so popular is the flexibility and personalization it offers customers in all lines of work, but it can be difficult to know exactly what IMS you need. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to decide what you need:

  • Does simply thinking about that mountain of paper hidden in file cabinets and closets raise your blood pressure? Imaging techniques like high-resolution scanning and content indexing can turn that mountain into a digital molehill.
  • Moving your business offsite or expanding onsite? Our relocation services can assist with mapping, sequencing, and labeling to relieve some of the stress that comes with moving to a new location.
  • Need to complete an audit? Your IMS team can provide audit support, working with you to complete file inventories, database creation, and listings, where appropriate.
  • Have multiple locations and mountains of paperwork? Clients with multiple locations and/or facilities can benefit from consolidation, merging, and other conversion services.
  • Need to safely destroy sensitive information or store old files? Our IMS team can take care of you when it comes time for disposition of information, including archiving, secure destruction, and more.

Why Bradford Systems?

When you invite Bradford Systems to administer your company’s information management, you receive much more than just a service. You gain a partner. With more than 45 years of experience in IMS, we provide customized solutions that meet and exceed your individual needs. We never outsource our work; instead, you can count on our team of permanent and dedicated specialists to lead you through every step and every project.

Whether your business relies on paper documents, digital files, or both, find out how working with an IMS professional can streamline and simplify your entire information management process. Learn more about our IMS Services.

Modular Patient Rooms

If you work in the healthcare building industry, you’ve undoubtedly come across many projects and clients interested in modularity. Modular casework, modular furniture, modular walls; there are a growing number of ways for us designers to approach modularity in projects of all sizes. And lucky for us, there are also growing numbers of modular products on the market that can make integrating modular systems into a design quick and simple.

Over the past couple of years modularity in patient rooms, in particular, has come into the spotlight. It makes sense. With rapidly changing technology and changing needs of patients and hospital staff, flexibility in a patient room design is crucial. If a hospital’s system is updated every 2-5 years, that directly impacts the patient space; and with hospital real estate already at a premium, having to remove a room from use in order to renovate can mean serious revenue loss.

So there we have it: modular makes sense. More often than not, there’s also a way to make it work in the project budget. So why don’t more healthcare designers implement modular products into their patient room designs? The answer is actually quite basic, in my opinion. Aesthetics. Historically, modular products have not been the most attractive option for designers. Limited finishes and design options often deter specification in these applications. By our very nature, designers want to provide our clients with function and aesthetics.

When planning a patient room, it’s important to know that there are modular options that can satisfy both needs. One of my favorite modular applications is the modular headwall. And with a bit of creativity, these panel-based systems can be tailored to compliment the overall design scheme. The key to making it work is to understand manufacturer options. A good manufacturer or dealer rep should make it easy for you to turn what would be custom build-out into a modular design. For you sales reps out there, work with designers to identify the intent of the elements in the patient room and tailor a modular solution to fit their goals.

While it may seem limiting at first, you’ll find that collaborating with a good modular provider will allow you to deliver innovative patient room designs that will grow with your client.

Designing the Inpatient Pharmacy for Patient Outcomes

When you think pharmacy, you undoubtedly think of your local outpatient pharmacy with it’s simple layout, drop-off and pick-up counters and rows of open shelving, neatly organizing hundreds of medications. In reality, inpatient pharmacies share many of the same characteristics. There are points of check-in and checkout, rows of medication storage, and a technician counting pills.

However, the operations and workflow of an inpatient pharmacy can vary dramatically from your corner drug store. For the control center for every drug in the hospital, efficiency is key. Every pill, every shot, every IV bag administered to a patient must first go through the pharmacy; received, unpacked, labeled, organized, stored, compounded, re-labeled, released. It’s the “unseen” operation that can directly impact the successes (and even failures) of any patient’s recovery. If designed correctly, this mission-critical environment can adapt to the changing hospital environment quickly.

So how do you design for such an environment?


There are many challenges in modern pharmacy design; one being that just about every pharmacy is unique. Different sizes, personnel, layouts, receiving systems, dispensing procedures; the list goes on and on. The key to overcoming this is to talk to the pharmacy staff, learn how they work, shadow them, and always ask “why?”.

By understanding the staff’s basic workflow, the general layout will come naturally. Then it is just a matter of focusing on the details of each step in the workflow and developing solutions accordingly.

Another challenge comes in the form of evolving technology (big surprise in healthcare, right?). While a pharmacy may not be doing a complete systems upgrade every couple of years, they are certainly considering new computers, printers, homogenizers, heat-sealers, etc. This is where flexibility comes in. Don’t design just for the technology they have today. How many times have you seen a printer sitting on top of a counter because it doesn’t fit in the under-counter cabinet that the old one did?

Design the environment to easily evolve with operations, and you’ll provide your client with the ability to adapt and respond more easily to their hospital’s needs.

Seven Advantages of Kanban over Par for Hospital Material Management

7 Advantages of Kanban vs. Par-Level

  1. No daily counting is needed. Wait for a bin to be emptied and always replenish the same quantity. Not having to count can save hundreds or thousands of hours per year in most hospitals.
  2. It reduces the number of resupply trips. Since we do not refill a Kanban bin daily, but instead wait for it to be empty, the number of replenishment trips can be reduced significantly. The number of replenishment cycles can be cut by 50% or more
  3. Replenishment quantities are fixed. The refilling process is greatly simplified by eliminating the need for counting required by the par system. If we know ahead of time what the refill quantity will be, the item can be stocked in that quantity.
  4. It is easier to manage and improve. By tracking the time between replenishment, the stocking quantities can more easily be refined and adjusted over time. This continuous improvement is more difficult to accomplish if all quantities are refilled daily, in varying quantities.
  5. Kanban reduces inventory. Experience proves that, with the same target coverage of supplies, a Kanban system will run with up to 50% less inventory than a par system.
  6. It is easier to maintain replenishment discipline. Since they do not have to count all inventory locations, or eye-ball the empty bins, supplies handlers find it easier to identify and refill the empty bins, thereby substantially reducing the opportunities for shortages.
  7. Kanban promotes good inventory management practices, while the par level does not. In fact, counting everything is essentially impossible and very labor intensive, and most par-level users simply “eye-ball” the bins without counting. Organization and housekeeping, “5S” in lean terms, is much easier to maintain.

For all of these reasons, Kanban is the method of choice for hospital material management, for much of the material that is procured and managed. The gains in productivity, reduced shortages and reduced inventory represent a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the industry.

Download this complimentary brochure to learn how FrameWRX storage system and the StockBox RFID-enabled inventory management system in combination with kanban methods can help with your material management processes today!

*Source: Supplies Management in the OR by Gerard Leone and Richard D. Rahn. Blog originally posted by Julie Weber, Spacesaver Corporation.