Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have a constant, high volume need for clean linens and scrubs. With patient turnover happening around the clock, soiled linens pile up quickly and clean ones must always be readily available. Maintaining an on-site laundry operation requires significant investments in equipment, utilities, labor and space. More and more, hospitals are choosing to outsource their laundry functions to commercial providers who can do it better, faster and more cost-effectively. Here are the top reasons hospitals trust commercial laundry services:
Commercial laundry providers can achieve economies of scale that on-site hospital laundries simply cannot match. They spread their equipment, labor, utility and real estate costs over millions of pounds of laundry from multiple clients. Their sheer size and specialisation brings efficiency that makes their pricing very competitive. Healthcare facilities find they reduce costs by outsourcing laundry services versus doing it themselves.
In addition to their scale, commercial laundries employ specialised staff dedicated to honing laundry processes. Hospital laundry staff often take on these duties as an add-on responsibility. Commercial laundry technicians are highly trained and experienced in managing complex washers, dryers, folding machinery and laundry chemicals. They understand how to get the maximum throughput. Hospitals avoid having to recruit, train and manage their own laundry workforce.
Sinceuptime is critically important, most commercial laundries are structured with multiple redundant equipment lines. If a machine goes down, others instantly pick up the load. On-site hospital laundries typically have much less built-in redundancy. Commercial laundries have spare capacity and can surge as needed to handle additional linen needs during busy times. Hospitals can be confident clean linen will always be available when needed.
Commercial laundry services must meet stringent hygiene standards and undergo regular audits and inspections. Their staff follows meticulous protocols for each step of the process. This ensures linens are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and safe for patient use. Hospitals would need to make significant investments in training, chemicals and equipment to attempt matching the cleaning quality achieved by commercial laundries.
Commercial linen providers make life easier with their turnkey services. Many offer delivery and pick-up of soiled linens on a daily basis so hospitals do not have to transport them. Linens come back folded, organised and ready for restocking. Laundry supplies are maintained. Lessstaff time is spent managing logistics. Hospitals can focus on patient care rather than laundry.
Outsourcing to commercial laundries transfers a variety of risks including regulatory compliance, equipment maintenance, staffing and more. If an on-premise hospital laundry has problems, it directly impacts the facility’s ability to serve patients. With a commercial provider, accountability rests solely on their shoulders. Hospitals avoid many liability headaches.
Commercial laundries are incentivised to operate as efficiently as possible, which means minimising resource consumption. They invest in high-efficiency equipment and continuously refine processes to reduce water, electricity and natural gas usage. Many utilise recycled rainwater. They also lower transportation impacts with route optimisation. Hospitals benefit from the sustainability efforts embedded in commercial laundry services.
Proper cleaning and disinfection of hospital linens is crucial for reducing health care-associated infections. Commercial laundries have dialed in standard operating procedures over years of specialisation. Workers are proficient in safely handling contaminated linens. Washers attain hotter temperatures and chemical disinfectants are precisely controlled. Proper cleaning eliminates pathogens before linens are reintroduced. Hospitals gain an added layer of protection from infections.
On-site hospital laundry work can be an undesirable job with repetitive tasks, heat and exertion. Workers may have less motivation to perform well. Commercial laundry technicians choose the work and take pride in their skills. Specialisation keeps them engaged. Hospitals avoid the morale and retention problems that can plague in-house laundry operations.
Hospitals are constantly needing more space for patient beds, testing facilities and other priority healthcare functions. Exiting the capital-intensive laundry business frees up precious real estate within the building footprint for these revenue-generating additions. A cramped hospital can essentially “expand” via outsourcing.
If disaster strikes, a hospital faces major challenges with flood, fire or storm damage to its on-site laundry. Linen supply disruption severely impairs ability to admit and serve patients. However, a commercial laundry provider’s operations may be unaffected or can shift production across its network. Hospitals that outsource enjoy added business continuity protection.
Focus on Care
Ultimately, hospitals exist to provide expert patient care. While laundry is a necessary support function, managing it takes focus and resources away from clinical services. Outsourcing lifts a burden from the organisation to concentrate fully on its core medical mission. Relying on specialised commercial laundries allows hospitals to do what they do best even better.
Commercial laundry services offer compelling advantages that make outsourcing the preferred choice for many modern hospitals and medical centers. They achieve economies of scale, process expertise, risk transfer and business continuity that on-premise laundry departments struggle to match. Forward-thinking healthcare facilities are forming strategic partnerships with commercial providers to ensure pristine clean linens while controlling costs and focusing on patient care. One such leading partner is Holy Cross Laundry, which has provided skilled, customised commercial laundry services to hospitals across Brisbane for over 130 years. By leaving laundry logistics to the experts at Holy Cross, hospitals can focus fully on nurturing health within their community.
✓What are the main benefits hospitals see from using commercial laundry services?
The top benefits are cost savings, labor savings, improved quality, enhanced sustainability, reduced risk, and the ability to focus more on core medical services rather than laundry operations. Commercial laundries achieve efficiencies and expertise exceedingly difficult for hospital-run laundries to match.
✓How does outsourcing laundry reduce infection risks?
Commercial laundries are specialised in properly cleaning and disinfecting hospital linens. Their chemical usage, hot water washing, and worker training is superior to hospitals’ capabilities. Pathogens are eliminated more consistently before linens are reused, creating an added barrier against healthcare-associated infections.
✓What risks do hospitals avoid by using commercial laundries?
They avoid regulatory, compliance, equipment, staffing, business continuity and other risks associated with managing an on-site laundry operation. The accountability for performance is transferred to the commercial provider. Hospitals can devote more attention to managing risks directly related to patient care.
✓How does outsourcing laundry help hospitals focus on their core mission?
Operating a laundry distracts hospital resources including staff, space, capital and management attention from clinical services and patient care. Outsourcing the function frees up resources that can be reallocated to expanding and enhancing the medical services that hospitals exist fundamentally to provide.