Increase Safety & Infection Control in VA Medical Centers

Throughout our website, we encourage visitors to browse our available products. If you don’t find a product on our website that meets your needs, contact us with your specifications and we will see if we can develop a solution for you. In Summer 2020, one of our VA Medical Center customers reached out for a quote on a custom wall mounted locking cabinet for corridors that aligned with compliance regulations and fit their facility’s specifications. Riemer Systems listened to their needs and developed the Hallway Compliant Locking Cabinet. 

 

The Need for the Hallway Compliant Locking Cabinet

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forever changed operations for countless industries. Safety, infection control, and personal protective equipment is of the utmost importance to all organizations, especially healthcare.

For VA medical centers and other long-term care communities, the process of administrating patient-specific multi-dose medications and wound care had to be adapted to improve safety and infection control. VA medical centers needed a way to keep multi-dose medications, wound care, and other critical items outside of the infectious zone, but still near the patient.  

The corridor outside of the patient’s room was the logical place; however, the challenge was finding a medical lock box that aligned with the  NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code) requirements for fire exit corridors and the ADA requirements for hallways.

The locking cabinet for hallways had to be the following:

  • No more than four inches in depth
  • Include an electronic keypad lock
  • Two backup keys for manual access
  • A clear, plastic door access
  • Self-locking
  • ADA compliant lock

Together, with guidance from the hospitals safety and facility representatives, Riemer Systems finetuned the specifications for compliance and ease of implementation.

Hallway Locking Cabinet Customizations

Riemer Systems adopted the Tall Wall Mounted Locking Cabinet to meet their NFPA and ADA requirements. The keyless lock, self-locking, ADA complaint lock was moved from the front of the cabinet to the side to make it a depth of no more than 4 inches. The protruding handle was replaced with a flush version. The exterior final dimensions measured 14” W x 22-3/4” T x <4”. Throughout the product development process, we worked closely with the hospital’s safety representative to finetune the specifications.

Driving Compliance Forces

Riemer Systems was familiar with the requirement of no more than 4” inches in depth and wanted to better understand the driving forces. With guidance from the safety representation, they learned the driving compliance requirement was coming from the NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code) and ADA requirements for corridors.

Both regulations aim to minimize obstructions that could slow emergency exits or obstruct the passage of individuals with disabilities. The NNFPA 101 (2018) section 18.2.3.4(2) specifically pertains to fire exit corridors, while the ADA requirements apply to all corridors. Per the ADA requirements, handrails may project up to 4.5” but everything else must be 4” or less.

Benefits

The hallway compliant locking cabinet helped reduce the spread of infection by storing each patient’s multi-dose medications (i.e. creams, ointments, nasal sprays, eye drops, ear drops, oral inhalers, etc.) and wound care (i.e. solutions, creams, supplies, etc.) separately. Furthermore, by keeping these multi-dose medications near the patient, there were fewer lost and wasted medications as well as an increase in efficiency.

Representatives from various departments including nursing, pharmacy, SCI, frontline staff, and the facility coordinator advocated for the implementation of hallway compliant locking cabinets to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and reduce the spread of infection.

In summary, the following benefits have been reported:

  • Increase infection control compliance
  • Reduction of MDRO transmission
  • Reduction of pharmaceutical waste
  • Reduction in medicinal supply costs
  • Increase safety at the bedside
  • Increase topical medication storage compliance
  • Increase unit workflow efficiency

Our Hallway Compliant Lockbox has been adopted in multiple VA Medical Centers and is known as the most economical choice while providing the highest advantages. 

 

Check Out the Hallway Compliant Locking Cabinet

Shop our medication lock boxes online. If you are buying in bulk, please request a quote for a quantity discount. If you don’t find a product on our website that meets your needs contact us and let us know what you are looking for and we can develop a solution for you.