Better facecloths coming soon to long-term care facilities

April 18, 2019

Bigger, softer, gentler. That’s what long-term care residents and providers alike are saying about a small, yet important health-care product – the common, yet easy-to-overlook facecloth.

Since January 2019, residents and care providers at two facilities – Providence Place in Moose Jaw and the Yorkton District Nursing Home – have been using a bigger, thicker kind of facecloth as part of a two-month trial conducted by the Provincial Linen Service at 3sHealth. The new product has been a big hit.

In fact, the reviews from those two sites were so glowing that health-care leaders recently decided to take action. The new Provincial Linen Services Partnership Committee unanimously decided on April 1 to roll out this much better facecloth to every long-term care facility in the province that is under the 3sHealth K-Bro linen contract. Now, thousands will benefit from a much more comfortable and effective product.

“The transition will start this July,” said Jim Crawford, Director of Provincial Linen Services at 3sHealth. “Current stocks will be rapidly phased out and new stock introduced. Based on current volumes, we expect the switchover should take about four months to complete.”

Small product, big impact

Training
The new facecloth for long-term care facilities (pictured left) compared to the current one in use.

Facecloths are actually one of the most commonly used types of linen throughout the health system. Last year, the provincial linen service processed 7.9 million facecloths from long-term care facilities alone.

In touring facilities throughout the province, the team learned firsthand that existing facecloths were not meeting all the needs of residents or care providers. Residents and staff also provided this feedback to the team in formal surveys. The consensus was clear: residents wanted a different product line – one that was thicker and gentler, especially on fragile skin.

That’s when the team engaged K-Bro, the provincial linen service provider, to see how the system could bring in a softer facecloth. The goal was to find a something that would be more comfortable and more effective from a cleaning perspective.

At the beginning of 2019, the trial got underway.

A very positive response

“As we’ve gone around the province, we’ve been showing the new facecloths to residents,” said Jennifer Fetch, Provincial Linen Services Leader. “As soon as people touch them, they say ‘Oh, I love these.’ One care aide gently grabbed my forearm and said, ‘Please make sure these go through!’ I’m glad we’re going to be able to do that.”

Out of 56 long-term care residents in Yorkton and Moose Jaw who were polled about the quality of the new facecloths, more than 91 per cent of them rated the product as more effective. One hundred per cent of respondents said the new product meets their needs. And 96 per cent said they would recommend this product to others.

Investments like these show that the health system is continuing to work together to put the needs of patients and residents first.


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