Your typical American hospital utilizes tons of linens and textiles just to keep things running day-to-day. There are uniforms for staff members – including scrubs and lab coats – along with bed linens, bath towels, and so forth. The question is, who does all the laundry?
Some hospitals handle laundry in-house utilizing commercial equipment and a dedicated laundry staff. Others rent linens from companies like Alsco. Under a typical rental agreement, the linen provider owns all of the uniforms and linens. They deliver clean pieces, usually every day, and take dirty pieces back to a plant for professional laundering.
There are very valid reasons for renting hospital linens over purchasing and doing laundry in-house. If you run a hospital currently operating an in-house laundry, here are five great reasons to consider renting instead:
1. You Are Running Out of Space
Hospital growth may mean increased beds and higher patient loads. That means more linens and uniforms as well. Perhaps your hospital’s laundry room is simply running out of space. You barely have enough capacity in both machines and staff to keep up, but growth in demand shows no signs of slowing down. Without enough space to add equipment, you are dead in the water.
Rather than trying to expand the in-house laundry department, consider renting hospital linens instead. Not only will you not have to worry about expansion, you can also reclaim the current laundry space for other uses.
2. Your Equipment is Getting Old
Commercial laundry equipment has a limited lifespan. When it starts to break down due to age, it also starts getting expensive. You may be in a situation in which you are trying to justify continuing to maintain older equipment rather than buying new. Renting linens could be a better solution than both options. Renting will relieve your hospital of yet another maintenance contract and all of the hassles that come with broken-down equipment.
3. You Are Looking to Save Money
Although it is not possible to say that renting is cheaper in every case, it is in most cases. Commercial laundries can do the same job for less because they are more efficient at what they do. Even though a hospital may pay a little bit more upfront to make the transition, commercial laundry services almost always cost less over the long haul.
4. You Are Worried About Hygiene
With the rise of superbugs over the last decade or so, hospitals are finding they have to be ever more diligent about hygiene. This includes what goes on in the laundry room. According to Alsco, hospital linens are not necessarily hygienically clean just because they are put through a commercial washer. Achieving hygienic cleanliness requires a bit more.
5. You Want Your Facility to Be More Sustainable
Older laundry facilities do not tend to be as environmentally friendly and sustainable as they could be. This is especially true of aging hospital laundries, as hospitals do not tend to have the financial resources to put into updating their equipment and procedures. Those facilities are allowed to continue operating as they always have.
Perhaps you want your facility to be more sustainable. Well, modern commercial laundries tend to operate with an eye on sustainability and environmental awareness. Modern laundries use less water, recycle what they can, and use more environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. Their equipment tends to be more energy efficient as well.
It’s not absolutely necessary for a hospital to rent linens and uniforms, but there are great reasons for doing so. Linen and uniform rental offer a lot of advantages over facility ownership and in-house laundering.