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Warehouse storage system saves millions

Grady Health System invested in on-site warehouse racking to bring paper record file storage back in house. The result was reduced costs, optimized logistics and improved patient care.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
December 01, 2011

Healthcare providers are required to keep more and more patient records. As a result, there is a move toward using third-party off-site record storage to handling the growing volume. But Grady Health System is going in the opposite direction by bringing its record management back in house to cut costs, optimize logistics and improve patient care. Grady, one of the largest health systems in the United States and the premier Level I trauma center for metro Atlanta, expects to save more than $3.5 million over five years by returning to on-site record storage.

“By establishing our own record center, we will eliminate third-party fees for storage, pick-up, transport and docking,” says Peter Stephens, director of supply chain operations for Grady Health System. “Our employees will be able to sign out documents from the storage area, scan them and send them immediately over a secure line to those needing them.”

Grady will move more than one million files in 128,000 storage boxes to its own pallet rack filled warehouse. To achieve the desired efficiency, the warehouse storage racks needed the flexibility to adjust to storage applications, provide maximum storage density, and have the strength to withstand years of use and even potential pallet jack impact. 

So, Grady selected a boltless, closed tubular upright pallet rack (Steel King Industries, http://www.steelking.com). Its boltless design makes it easy to adjust beam profile or elevation as needed, and its high-strength steel makes it 44 times more torsion/twist resistant, with 250% greater frontal impact resistance and 68% greater side impact resistance.

To achieve desired storage density with the ability to quickly pick needed records, the system was designed with a pallet jack tunnel bay and pass-through bays that provide easy access to the storage boxes. And, to protect the racks from accidental impact with warehouse equipment such as pallet jacks, Grady installed a protective railing. Anchored to the floor, the bright yellow railing helps prevent damage to the rack from equipment impact, which can lead to warehouse downtime, productivity loss and costly rack repair.

“The bottom line is that every dollar we save with more efficient record management is a dollar we can invest in health system improvements for patients and staff,” says Stephens.

About the Author

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Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.


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