By John Goetz, Global Product Manager, Hydro Systems
Editor Note: This is Part 4 of a four part series exploring the laundering of linens in healthcare and hospitality facilities. Topics to be explored include, meeting and exceeding guest and patient linen standards, linen stains and their origins in hospitality environments, exceeding laundry healthcare standards, the benefits of a laundry dispenser, how to find the right dispenser for your facility and maintaining hygiene expectations and standards.
To reap the benefits that a dispenser provides, those with oversight of the laundry program should ensure their facility or laundry provider is using a dispenser with several key features.
First and foremost, the dispenser should be constructed with reliable and accurate pumps to ensure that proper dosing occurs each time chemical is needed. If dosing to multiple washers or continuous batch washers, the dispenser should have separate dosing channel configurations, including a pump, flow meter and distribution valves. Hotels and healthcare facilities launder a high volume of linen and have numerous washers in place to meet the demands of the facility. Multiple channel configurations will enable the system to efficiently dose all products without long queues and prevent expensive delays that can arise if the system is undersized.
Today there are some dispensers on the market that do not utilize peristaltic pumps or squeeze tubes. Such dispensers offer immense savings in spare parts, maintenance and service labor costs.
The dispenser should also offer wireless reporting capabilities. Because it’s not feasible for managers or chemical providers to be onsite monitoring laundry operations at all times, a smart dispensing system can be a huge time saver. System software and mobile connectivity provides laundry and chemical personnel with a closer look at key performance indicators, like formulas, volume of washes and average production rate. Access to this data allows managers to proactively act on issues ranging from inadequate water pressure to staff training opportunities. Remote access capabilities allow certain adjustments to be made even while offsite. This reduces errors that can impact costs and productivity.
An especially essential consideration for on-premise laundries is that the dispenser has a compact design and easy installation and maintenance to reduce the time needed to set it up and keep it working for years to come.
Maintaining Hygiene Expectations and Standards
At a hotel, clean linen has the power to positively contribute to a traveler’s experience. Meanwhile, items like bed covers, patient gowns and privacy curtains must be cleaned on a regular basis in healthcare facilities to protect patients.
Laundry and facility managers at hotels and healthcare facilities should understand the numerous benefits that chemical dispensers provide, as well as key features to look for during the purchase process. Once a dispenser is installed, employees should be trained so that they understand its function and how to operate and work alongside the unit.
Managers should also create a maintenance schedule to ensure the system continues to work at peak performance. Filters and strainers should be regularly cleaned to prevent water line particles from entering the valve. Managers should also investigate systems that do not rely on squeeze tubes to deliver product. If peristaltic tubes are being used, tubing should be replaced as it wears down, and dosing parameters should be checked and recalibrated as needed.
Having the right chemical dispenser in place is an important part of the laundry equation and a key part of maintaining guest satisfaction and patient health. Facilities that prioritize every element of their laundry program will not only ensure they have clean laundered items, but improve productivity and reduce chemical costs and wasted energy and water. It’s a true win-win for both the end user and the organization.
Read Part One of Hospitality and Healthcare Linen Operation Insights here
Read Part Two of Hospitality and Healthcare Linen Operation Insights here
Read Part Three of Hospitality and Healthcare Linen Operation Insights here
About the author:
John Goetz is global product manager at Hydro Systems.
Hydro Systems is an independent manufacturer of chemical injecting, proportioning, dispensing and medicating equipment. Goetz can be reached at email@example.com.