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Tips on organizing your child’s home medical supplies; advice from PHS

In our last post, two PHS moms shared stories about how they organize and manage homecare medications and medical supplies for their medically complex children. Why is it important to organize?

  • It helps you manage your inventory. You know what supplies you have on hand and when you are running low and need to reorder.
  • It’s cost effective. You save insurance dollars by not over ordering supplies and by being efficient with those you have.
  • It makes your home safer for your child. You can save precious time and even a life by finding supplies quickly in emergency situations.


Watch Becki Long, a respiratory therapist and VP of Clinical Services, demonstrate how to successfully organize and manage medical supplies and special needs equipment.

Get involved with ordering medical supplies

  • Know exactly which medical supplies you are using in the home. Become familiar with each item.
  • Keep track of your inventory. The PHS supply sheet itemizes each item your child uses by type, description, code and the minimum amount you should have on hand at all times for safety—allowing you to quickly see what you have, what you need, and when and how much to order. If you don’t have a supply sheet, contact a PHS customer service representative at 651-642-1825 to have one sent to your home specific to your child.

Utilize a three-tiered system, adapting it to fit your child’s needs

  • Keep most supplies in a central supply area, categorized, stored, and organized according to need.
  • Keep supplies used by your child daily by the bed.
  • Have an emergency set of supplies available as back up and another set for use when you leave home in a convenient travel bag.

Can you add to the conversation about organizing homecare medical supplies? Do you have any organization questions or tips you’d like to share with other families? We’d love to hear from you.

Originally published: October 8, 2010
Showing 11 comments
  • Gen
    Reply to GenComment ID#: 281

    I try and use the small rolling carts for my daughter’s supplies. It is the larger supplies that I need a better system for. This is a good article, the video was great too.

    • PHS
      Reply to PHSComment ID#: 282

      Gen, thank you so much for your advice. Check back on November 15th to see if you’re the lucky winner of the organization supplies!

  • Nick's Mom
    Reply to Nick's MomComment ID#: 283

    Organization is paramount when dealing with all of Nick’s equipment and all the different nurses in our home. We use a 3 ring binder to hold our PHS Supply Sheets. The binder also has a pocket in front for PHS info/updates related to supplies and a pocket in back for the no-carbon-required pages of the PHS packing list.
    Our clear, plastic bins are organized with labels on each delineating what’s inside. In each bin, we use plastic zip bags to hold items. Each zip bag is labeled with the PHS item code from the PHS Supply Sheet to aid in ordering from said sheet.
    We order weekly, as our space is limited, and we are located proximal to PHS. With our weekly order, the number of each item needed is written on the PHS supply sheet. When the order is received and put away, it is matched with the order placed to insure correctness, then the copy of the PHS packing list goes in the back pocket. This is a check on many levels, as we may have 10 different people involved in supply inventory, ordering, unpacking, and putting away supplies in a month. Also this familiarizes all people involved in the process with supply item code numbers, location of supplies in our home, and a quick check of their numbers/needs.
    In our “communication book”, when someone sees a need or low stock of an item, they write it there and highlight it for the person doing the inventory.
    Also, when a new nurse has been oriented to my son’s case, we do a little “scavenger hunt” with the PHS supply sheet to find the items in the bins…it helps them find and put away supplies 🙂
    Having my son, Nick, who is an amazing young man!, live safely and happily at home with a plethora of supplies, emergency equipment, complex medical needs, as well as various nurses, is gratifying and less stressful when we stay organized! Organization lets us have time to have FUN and ENJOY life!
    Thanks to everyone at PHS for your stellar “care of the child/adult”!

    • PHS
      Reply to PHSComment ID#: 284

      Nick’s mom-
      Thanks so much for your feedback. You seem to really be on the ball with your organization (and your blogging! :)) Thanks for the response. We’ll be sure to get you entered to win the organization supplies. Check back on the 15th of November when we will post the winner.

  • Lilli Valentin
    Reply to Lilli ValentinComment ID#: 285

    One of the biggest organizing mistakes is committing to a system that isn’t second nature to you. “You want to store things where you use them,” says Julie. Designing a system around your natural habits makes it easier to maintain, she says. That’s not to say you should continue with your messy, throwing clothes on the floor ways; rather, find ways to make your tendencies less messy. Stick with simple solutions you know you can commit to: throwing clothes in a readily available hamper, for example. Think through what you want to accomplish, then keep it simple and doable according to your habits.

  • Cody's Mom
    Reply to Cody's MomComment ID#: 286

    LABELS! I have an electronic labelmaker and use it all the time. Clear storage containers and lots of shelves are a big help. Having supplies labeled and readily available is very important when something is needed in a hurry. Cody even helps “deliver” supplies with his radio controlled dump truck! 🙂

    • PHS
      Reply to PHSComment ID#: 287

      Cody’s mom- thanks for your feedback and you’re so right, labeling the clear storage bins really makes everything easy to see and access at a quick glance. Happy Friday to you both and I’ve entered you into the drawing. Check back November 15th for the winner!

  • Mhezly Wyeth
    Reply to Mhezly WyethComment ID#: 289

    I  try this and use the small rolling carts for my sister’s supplies. It is the larger supplies that I need a better system for. This is a good article, the video was great too.thanks to your sites.
    Medical Supply

  • durable medical supplies
    Reply to durable medical suppliesComment ID#: 290

    Organizing our home medical supplies in our home is very necessary so that we can avoid the accident might happen to our child.

  • My Medical Records
    Reply to My Medical RecordsComment ID#: 291

    This is really honestly relatively informative appearance, as i definitely favourite exploring because of them all..

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