The workstream pulls together service managers, clinical staff and infection control experts to ensure linen supplies suits what patients need, is simple to manage for staff, follows best practise for infection prevention and control, and is cost effective.
A major project for the Laundry workstream is Love Your Linen; work to standardise the way beds are made so that the linen supply and consumption is the same across the South Island. At present a vast array of items of linen are used on each bed, potentially unnecessarily based on the needs of the patient. In a trial in one ward of Dunedin Hospital, over thousands of dollars were saved by simplifying the way beds were made.
The Laundry workstream is introducing a ‘reuse your towel’ initiative, similar to that often seen in hotels. Where appropriate, patients will be given the option of taking the environmentally friendly choice of reusing their towel the following day. It is anticipated this could reduce towel usage by 10 percent, representing a significant reduction in environmental footprint of hospitals, as well as resulting in savings that can be directed towards more operations or new equipment.
Changes to the Nelson Marlborough DHB linen usage for example are driving costs down under the ‘love your linen’ initiative.