Labeling Surgical Supplies in the Operating Room: 7 Tips to Keep You Organized

The experts in healthcare accreditation's principal, Troy Lair, share best practices on the different ways to manage the labeling of supplies in and out of the operating rooms.




Operating rooms (ORs) are busy places and keeping track of supplies can be challenging. In order to ensure that everyone is operating smoothly, it’s important to establish good routines and proper labeling systems so that supplies are easier to find in the future. If you’ve ever looked for a particular surgical scalpel after the last stitch of a case, you’ve probably wished that there was a better system in place to keep track of these items. That’s where we come in! In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best practices for keeping surgical supplies organized, such as labeling and storage.


What is the best system for labeling surgical supplies?

Using a labeling system can help to streamline your workflow and make it easier for dedicated nurses and staff to find specific items when they are needed.


By using a label printer like the Brother QL-800. Label with a label maker like P-Touch Brother. Don’t ever Label with sticky notes. Label with functions in mind. Create an index guide for the supplies that are in closed shelving systems. To store in a bin or not to store in a bin? This is the question. Make sure your supplies are where you need them.


Tip #1 - Use a label printer like the Brother QL-800, we love it!

Labeling with a laser printer can be time-consuming and prone to human error, making it challenging to label with consistency. A label printer like the Brother QL-800, we love it! is both quick and accurate, the perfect item for ORs that need to keep up with their hectic schedules. We also love that it comes with a software application that allows for easy and intuitive design, along with paper labels for easy customization.


Tip #2 - Label with a label maker like P-Touch Brother.

P-Touch label makers are ideal for labeling surgical supplies because they print tight and clear imprints with water-resistant ink, ensuring that your labels stay on the shelf and in the bin. P-Touch label printers are also a popular option among ORs, as they are quick and easy to use.


Tip #3 - Don’t ever Label with sticky notes

There’s nothing worse than looking for a particular surgical scalpel after the last stitch of a case. A system that makes use of sticky notes won’t be able to keep up with the need for the scalpel after surgery. There’s no reason to take the risk with this method, as a label printer like the Brother QL-800. You can easily print clear, crisp labels that will stay on the shelf and in the bin. People can die with sticky notes applications, don't get caught by a surveyor trying to get by with a sticky note anything! Bad idea from the start.


Tip #4 - Label with functions in mind.

Consider the type of surgical supplies you have in your OR and how you would like each item to be labeled. This can help to standardize labeling procedures, ensuring that the same information is being displayed on the labels.


Tip #4 - Create an index guide for the supplies that are in closed shelving systems.

An indexed guide is a list that is kept with the labels, allowing staff to quickly and easily find their way to the particular surgical supplies they need. This can be especially helpful when it comes to supplies like gloves or gloves that come in a variety of sizes.


Tip #5 - To store in a bin or not to store in a bin? This is the question.

Bins can be a handy way to organize supplies and make them more accessible to staff. However, it’s important that the contents of each bin are clearly labeled. If you have mixed surgical supplies that need to be organized, a better option may be to place them in their own bins so that they are easily identifiable.


Tip #6 - Make sure your supplies are where you need them.

There’s nothing worse than an OR that isn’t being kept as organized as it can be. Whether you’re struggling with supplies being misplaced or just having a hard time keeping them organized, there is no better solution than to sit down and review the systems that you have in place.


Final Tip - Don’t lose any more time! Get organized!

If you're finding that you’re having trouble keeping track of surgical supplies, it’s time to get organized! These tips will help you get more organized and keep your OR running smoothly.



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