U Hospital cuts costs by reducing linen usagetime

By By Sean Gale , Staff Writer

By Sean Gale , Staff Writer

It’s just a matter of laundry.

Last spring, U Health Care asked all of its employees to find ways to cut costs in each department. Nurses Natalie Manolakis and Karen Nye cut down linen usage to save University Hospital more than $400,000 in 2009, said Richard Lee, director of support services for U Hospital, in a statement.

“The linen department is continuing to work with nursing to find additional efficiencies to reduce our current linen pounds per patient per day and save even more money,” Lee said.

The nurses discovered that by making a bed maintenance schedule, throwing away fewer linens and using more disposable washrags and towels, the U Hospital was able to cut its linen costs by nearly 50 percent per month, Lee said.

The hospital also installed automated scrub-suit dispensers to cut down on wasting the uniforms worn by hospital employees. The machines track the number of garments given to employees and has helped the hospital cut down on wasted scrubs by retaining the garments that are given out.

Scrubs dispensers aren’t the only machines being introduced. Employees are now using personal digital assistant devices to track linen usage in each room, directly cutting down on laundry costs by not allowing room for waste.

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