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AORN – Surgical Conference & Expo Recap

March 16, 2015

The 2015 Surgical Conference & Expo, AORN had a large turnout. The Colorado Convention Center in Denver had exhibitors displaying everything from Croc’s (shoes) to UV room disinfection devices. Storage and mobile storage are always an immense population at AORN. This is because the storage and accessibility of equipment and supplies is critical to the workflow processes in surgical environments.

Whether we discuss fixed, mobile, stainless, store-room, wall, or other – one theme appears to be omnipresent in the medical storage market place: “Workflow”. Cabinets and storage solutions are now engineered from a material science design perspective that promotes superior “Workflow” efficiencies.

kai·zen  –   /ˈkīzən/  noun; A Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiencies, etc.
Many manufacturers and solution providers are embracing the “Kaizen” philosophy into their surgical products and brands. Examples of these solution improvements were demonstrated by sales professionals to the American Organization of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) attendees.


An example feature is as simple as a clear glass hinged door on a scope cabinet over a roll top opaque door. The clear door allows the OR professional to visually see their high-value scopes compliant (hanging, drying, and ventilated), as well as inventory selection prior to accessing the cabinet. This simple yet profound improvement in storage can save equipment access times measured in seconds and minutes. That saved time and ease of access extended over the number of cases per day, week, year, and life of the storage product solution equates to real value to the surgical team. This value can be measured in labor time cost savings, as well as potential risk mitigation of incorrect hanging scopes and the patient care damage they can cause.

In the mobile storage or “Cart” world at AORN we saw exchange supply carts making a large resurgence at some vendor exhibits. Exchange carts allow for modular supply storage design over case work and fixed wall solutions. Specialty carts, stainless steel case carts, linen carts, anesthesia carts, procedure carts, mobile computing carts, and integrated workstation carts were all on display and demonstration. The cart technology is evolving like everything else. Some cart companies are now offering power management software that empowers administrators to view the power supply of an entire fleet of carts from a single workstation. Others continue to integrate the anti-microbial touch points into their material cart designs.

In summary the 2015 AORN Sugical Expo had a large variety of cart and storage vendors. The successful exhibitors with a constant flow of people were companies who strategically design storage solutions around the workflow of the patient care teams. They are embracing kaizen with continuous improvement business philosophies. With that center focus – you can readily see cart and storage solutions evolving to synergistic solutions of technology and simplicity.

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