Kanban Systems in Sterile Storage


Kanban Systems in Sterile Storage use triggers to provide visual cues that additional supplies need to be ordered. Leveraging Kanban Systems in your Sterile Storage Room supports FIFO (first in, first out—an essential tenet for surgery supplies), saves time on restocking, and saves on labor costs.


There are several Kanban methods that can be implemented to drive efficiency: including the Two-Bin Systems, Kanban Cards, and Fine Mesh Basket Shelving with Dividers and Kanban Flippers.


  • The most common method is the traditional Two-Bin System where two bins are placed on a shelf, one in front of the other, and filled with supplies. When the front bin is emptied, it is placed on the top shelf of the rack, providing the visual cue that supplies need to be ordered.

  • Kanban Cards are placed in the bin once the stock reaches the reorder level to alert the Inventory Coordinator that more supplies are needed.

  • Using Dividers to create columns in Fine Mesh Basket Shelving, placing Kanban Flippers in the middle of each column to create two “bins”, allows you to create a more efficient Two-Bin System. Supplies are stored behind and in front of the Kanban Flipper. When the supplies in front of the Flipper are used, the Flipper is pulled down to access the supplies behind it, showing a “Reorder” tag to trigger an order.


Regardless of the method, implementing a Kanban can help your department streamline your inventory levels and reordering process for better inventory accuracy. Better inventory accuracy will help you have nonexpired, sufficient inventory levels for your cases.