How Hospitals Can Save Money Without Sacrificing Care
As hospitals play such an essential role in today’s society, every task in their daily operations must be performed to the highest possible standards. The level of personal treatment administered by doctors and nurses, the quality of the food given to patients, the importance placed on proper hygiene throughout all departments: all areas of the institution – no matter its size or location – should be strong enough to encourage the greatest possible peace of mind and comfort in patients.
However, hospitals are constantly busy, faced with enormous tasks of life-and-death importance: when people visit their local hospital, for whatever reason, they want to feel as if they can trust both the staff and the environment itself. If there is any sign of poor hygiene or a lax approach to keeping equipment clean, then patients will begin to question how safe they are in the hands of the people supposed to take care of their health.
Obviously, such a sour feeling among patients reflects badly not just on the hospital itself, but also on the staff working there – no matter how strained finances are and how lacking they are in supplies, the very hygiene of the place should be a priority.
Germs can easily be spread in all workplaces, especially where large numbers of people are in close quarters for hours, possibly even days and weeks, on end. In hospitals, the risk of health-problems related to contamination is even greater – even the smallest bug can prove fatal to those in critical condition.
How can Switching to Microfiber Save Hospitals Money?
Of course, maintaining faultless – or even high standards of – hygiene requires time, equipment, and a steady supply of cleaning products. In order to keep hospitals at the level of cleanliness required to ensure the safety and comfort of patients and staff alike, serious investment is essential – but what if budgets simply cannot stretch to cover the care needed?
That money has to come from somewhere, but a drastic solution may not be needed. Terminating contracts for staff across all departments will mean less care for patients. However, switching to a range of microfiber cleaning products can help hospitals save money in the long run and improve the quality of the hygiene-standards they maintain.
According to a case study produced by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), in which UCDMC (University of California Davis Medical Center) in Sacramento, CA, the center managed to achieve three impressive economic results in just one year after switching to microfiber mops:
95 percent reduction in the cost of chemicals linked to mopping-related tasks
20 percent daily labor savings
60 percent lifetime savings on mop-related costs
In this case, the initial cost of the microfiber mops was greater than that of more standard cotton-loop mops – yet microfiber mops generally withstand a higher number of washes than those of other types: here, the manufacturer had guaranteed the head for an impressive 500 washes, opposed to the standard cotton-loop type, with which the head is typically takes only around 50 washes.
How can Microfiber Products Lead to More Cost-Effective Purchases?
UCDMC also managed to save 638 hours of work for each worker in the aforementioned one-year experiment, thanks to the ease and speed microfiber mops offered – this equated to around $7665 in wages. Other findings related to the use of microfiber mops include: less money spent on water use, and a drop in the number of compensation claims filed by staff (due to the increased safety these products offer over conventional equipment).
How? Microfiber mops increase safety due to their higher absorbency – as these nylon fibers can hold up to six times their weight in water, they require less water, keeping floors drier and safer to use.
Microfiber mops also eliminate the need to regularly change the cleaning solution used or rinse the heads, staff will not need a sink in maintenance closets – bringing reduced costs in the construction of facilities in the future.
To further save money, microfiber sheets should be used in bedding: these are more hygienic, as the fine fibers prevent stains, and can keep sweat and water from soaking in. For patients who spend a lot of time in their beds, eating and drinking there, the need to wash sheets regularly due to spillages or sweat will be reduced.
Microfiber sheets will still need to be washed and changed, of course, but the cost of water used in washing them, and the man-hours needed to replace them, may well be reduced.
While the advantages that come from switching cleaning and hospital linens to the microfiber-made variety may take time to present themselves, hospitals can save money in the long-run, without sacrificing the level of care patients receive – as hospitals continue to make cuts, the safety and comfort of patients doesn’t necessarily receive the attention it deserves.
————————- About the author: Kyle McManus is a freelance writer based in the UK. He prepared this article on behalf of Texas Micro Fiber.