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2017-18 was a year focused on continuous improvement and ensuring that the provincial linen service was meeting the ever-growing demand for linen services across the province.
During the year, 3sHealth:
- Upgraded reusable surgical linen products, with advanced levels of protection for staff and patients.
- Moved to softer, more absorbent towels that are used in the care of newborns and surgical patients. These towels are less likely to develop lint, and as a result are much safer for patients in surgical units. In rigorous clinical trials, users overwhelmingly endorsed this new and better product, which was procured at no additional cost to the system.
- Improved linen inventory management practices and processes in several facilities to help ensure staff and patients have the correct amount of linen they require for patient care. These changes also reduced costs by more than $100,000 across the health system over the past year. 3sHealth plans to continue these efforts in 2018-19.
- Continued to perform regularly monthly audits of linen quality, and with new tools and templates, 3sHealth was able to pinpoint defective products faster and more proactively.
3sHealth led the initiative to establish a new provincial foreign objects committee composed of key linen stakeholders from across the health system. The committee’s job was to identify possible solutions to address the number of foreign objects (such as medical equipment and personal belongings) that were regularly being found in soiled linen. 3sHealth will work closely with this committee in 2018-19 to effectively reduce the number of foreign objects in linen, which improves safety for providers, patients, and linen plant personnel.
The following are some key facts about the provincial linen service:
- Linen services are provided to over 195 locations across the province.
- About 27 million pounds of linen are processed through the provincial linen service.
- Over 85 million pieces of linen are reprocessed every year, making it one of the largest “recycling” programs in the province.
- The provincial linen service delivery system provides linen to all four corners of the province through an extensive distribution network.
- The K-Bro Linen plant in Regina operates 365 days a year to meet the needs of the Saskatchewan health system.