The volume of textiles cycling through an outpatient facility each day is high. Consistent use of medical linens, towels, and scrubs, as well as patient gowns and robes means there’s always laundry to be done.
It’s not surprising that the choice to outsource medical linen laundry or operate an on-premise laundry facility is a highly researched and frequently discussed topic. With proven financial, operational, and environmental benefits, laundry services are now the third most-outsourced service in healthcare facilities, according to Modern Healthcare magazine. The choice to outsource your medical linen laundry might seem like an obvious decision (or, depending on the size of your facility, you simply might not have an option)—but do you know how it provides your practice with a competitive advantage?
In this blog, we’re diving deeper into the benefits of outsourcing medical and hospital linen laundry, so you can effectively communicate them to your prospective patients, employees, and partners.
- Outsourcing lets you focus more on patient care.
There’s a lot that goes into building, installing, operating, and maintaining an industrial and healthcare-compliant laundering facility. It adds an entire new business unit to your organization. Depending how established your practice is, you may have time and resources to dedicate to creating this facility. But most outpatient practices hustle to keep up with the sheer volume of patients, day-to-day needs, and advancing standards of care. Without the added management of an on-premise laundering facility, your practice can focus on its core competencies of patient care.
- Outsourcing can make your practice sustainable.
Professional laundering facilities that participate in the Laundry Environmental Stewardship Program (Laundry ESP) contribute to the textile service industry’s commitment to environmental protection with innovative equipment, products, and processes. When you partner with an outsourced medical laundry service, you contribute to recycling and reusability efforts, as well as the efficient use of resources like water, energy, and wash chemistry.
- Outsourcing ensures OSHA and CDC standards are met.
Stringent guidelines from the CDC, OSHA and the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council exist to reduce risk of cross-contamination and mitigate the spread infectious disease. These regulations include specifications for laundering temperatures, wash formulas, titration reports, universal precaution requirements, and training programs. When you outsource your medical laundry, you automatically comply with these standards, and remove the burden of documentation about exposure control plans and bloodborne pathogens requirements, for example, from your shoulders.
- Outsourcing gives your practice a professional touch.
Outsourced laundering facilities offer more than just laundry services. Premium medical linen laundry providers go the extra step to finish garments and deliver them as you wish: on hangers, packaged in customized wrapping, or folded. Going even a step further after that, a medical apparel and linen specialist, like us, provides dedicated Route Service Representatives who become a trusted extension of your team, and stock your shelves and closets with the exact inventory your clinicians and patients need. Services like this keep your facility neat, tidy, stocked, and professional.
- Outsourcing opens space for beds and equipment.
A good amount of outpatient facilities, especially those in urban cities and highly populated areas, already struggle with having enough space for equipment and supplies’ storage, not to mention for extra rooms and beds that serve as a revenue source. Outsourcing your medical and hospital linen laundry lets you use the space you have for patient care and equipment, not background operations.
- Outsourcing optimizes and standardizes your inventory.
When you outsource your hospital bed linens and medical apparel to an outsourced healthcare laundry service, or better yet, to a medical apparel and linen service specialist, you often tap into their inventory management solutions. Things like intelligent barcode scanning, tracking systems, and dispensing technology, keep your inventory organized and mitigate common issues like scrub loss. These solutions also help manage your budget by determining the right time to replenish your stock or cut back on certain textiles based on their usage.
- Outsourcing relieves burdens on practice managers.
Anyone who has ever worked in an outpatient practice knows how crazy the day-to-day can be. Practice mangers and administrators handle millions of tasks in a day, all while providing an exceptional patient experience where care and comfort is the number one focus. Outsourcing healthcare laundry services takes so much off their plate. It provides pick-up of soiled medical or hospital linens, delivery and stocking of clean ones, and relieves any concerns about contaminated textiles that can put patients or staff at risk for infection.
Promote Your Medical Linen Outsourcing as a Differentiator
These seven benefits directly improve your quality of care and patient experience; so, it’s important that your prospective patients, employees, and partners know about them. Work with your medical or hospital linen laundry service provider to create communications that make people aware of how your choice to outsource your medical linen laundry directly impacts their experience with your practice.
Another Benefit for Certain Practices: Are You One of Them?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators, and environmental groups encourage the use of reusable textiles over disposable products, and the use of linen over paper products have actually proved to increase patient satisfaction rates, which as you know, are now tied to reimbursements. So, if your practice offers mostly linen products, you’ve got yourself another benefit to promote.
Are you ready to tell the world about why you outsource?
If your practice is considering medical linen laundry services or wants to switch providers, contact us.