Written by AJ Durtschi

Managing Linens for Your Medical Office

Managing Linens for Your Medical Office | by AJ Durtschi

Linens in any field are mostly seen as little more than a commodity, with some businesses simply choosing the cheapest option and moving on. Customers pay attention to their comfort as well as the details though, and even the simplest of items in your office can have a resounding impact on your brand and business.

Linens for your medical or dental office are no different, and even though cleanliness is an even bigger requirement in the medical field, the same method of selection often applies. Whether your medical linens are for the people you care for in your dental practice or for people at your medical clinic, choosing them and how they are cared for must have high priority.

Following are six questions you should ask when choosing and caring for your medical linens.

  1. Do you provide clean uniforms? Medical facilities, hospitals, and day surgery facilities should daily provide employees with clean uniforms and prohibit employees and office personnel from wearing them in public or taking them home. Here is a good reason why.

  2. Do your linens play a role in reducing infections? Copper is an essential element in our body, and it also has become a popular element found in hospital and medical linens. Copper is known for its antimicrobial properties, and medical facilities like Sentara Albermarie Medical Center are now debuting new linens and patient gowns that are infused with copper. Sure these copper-infused linens are more expensive, but Sentara Albermarie’s goal of significantly reducing patient infections is what they are committed to achieving.
  3. Are you managing medical linen loss? Nearly 90 percent of all lines used, like scrubs, blankets, and towels, seldom reach their economic life potential due to a phenomenon referred to as “linen loss.” Medical linens are wasted in one of three ways: employee loss, patient loss, or improper disposal of linens. The best way that medical facilities and hospitals can plug this multi-million dollar loss is to work directly with their linen provider and perform an ongoing linen audit. A linen audit can help identify the linen soil factor and conduct a trash audit to determine the extent of the problem. There are other solutions I’ve outlined here.
  4. How are you managing standards and clean linens? Just ask UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh about linen care and cleaning, handling of linens, transportation of linens, and storage and use of linens. It is believed a mold outbreak contributed to the death of five patients who contracted fungal-related infections. Click here to see video and more of this story. Here is my take on what can be done to ensure the highest standards when it comes to cleaning, delivery, handling, and storage of linens.
  5. What are you doing to reduce lint? Airborne dust or lint entering surgical wounds can often lead to health complications. Data reveals the necessity more than ever for the medical industry to begin taking steps to reduce lint. Lint that according to the Advanced Healthcare Network for Nurses says contains toxic glues, adhesives, and fire resistant agents that may attach itself to body tissues and cause other damaging physiological effects.
  6. Does your professional linen service like Austin Linen Service help in the effort of reducing complications? Working with a professional linen service focused on the highest standards when it comes to cleaning, handling, delivery, and storage is essential for a successful linen strategy.

If you are looking for medical linens for your practice, Austin Linen Service would like to earn your business. Let’s start by understanding your needs and then we can provide you with a plan.