What are the benefits to having a well-run laundry operation? An efficient laundering operation in a healthcare facility has a direct correlation with savings in labor, utility and linen replacement costs. On top of that, an efficient and well-run laundry can help prevent the spread of illness.
Major Variables Reducing the Length of Linen Life
The average linen amount needed per patient is higher today than it was 10 years ago due to insurance companies moving patients more quickly through different healthcare facilities. A statistic from several major laundry services noted that accounts now consume 20-30% more linen than ever before.
The need for additional linens with a tighter turnaround time results in cutting corners in the laundering process. Shortening the wash cycle can cause a vast amount of chemical residue left on the linens. Proper rinse cycles and process times are required to ensure the linens do not cause discomfort to the patient. This also preserves the quality of the linens by ensuring that residual chemicals are not present during the drying process. The absence of the chemicals during the drying process results in a longer life of the healthcare linen.
In healthcare facilities, drying the linens tends to be a bottleneck and unfortunately most linens are over dried. The majority of healthcare linens only need 30 minutes in a dryer while most healthcare facilities dry their linens for 45+ minutes. The extra time spent in the dryer decreases the life of the linen by weakening the fibers in the fabric.
Improving Linen Quality of Life
The best way to improve the life span of linens is to have the laundering equipment regularly serviced and have repairs done on older equipment. Other options include looking into spray-rinse technology to reduce the amount of residual chemicals left on the linen. The spray-rinse also reduces the amount of water waste used in processing the linen. Finally, have the healthcare facility staff properly trained on the optimal drying times for each type of linen from towels to bed sheets to help increase the life of the linens.
Good Quality Healthcare Linens & Microfleece Blankets
Purchasing blended sheets, either 55% Cotton / 45% Polyester blend or a 60% Cotton / 40% Polyester blend will maximize the lifespan of your bed linens and save your facility real money. Our T-130 blended sheets are a great choice for any healthcare property that experiences high usage.
Another simple recommendation is replacing your traditional cotton thermal blankets with a micro-fleece bed blanket. The Microloft Blanket by Berkshire Hospitality is a great option that is made from 100% Polyester and launders incredibly well.
Contact us today for more information about how your healthcare facility may improve the longevity of your healthcare linen.