State-of-the-art infection prevention and control, quality processes to ensure defects do not reach patients and residents, enhanced safety, softer, larger, and more comfortable linens, and a smaller environmental footprint – these are all innovations of the new provincial linen service.
Saskatchewan's provincial health care linen service became a reality on September 14, 2015. A new state-of-the-art processing plant in Regina, that is owned and operated by K-Bro Linen Systems now provides linen services to health regions and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency. Beginning with Sunrise Health Region, the transition to the new service rolled out during the fall of 2015 and was completed on February 29, 2016. The new service is the culmination of several years of planning by the province’s health system partners and government. It will ensure a high quality, sustainable service to our province’s patients, residents, and families while achieving significant savings. 3sHealth will manage the contract with K-Bro.
The provincial linen service will provide a long-term, sustainable solution to our province’s healthcare linen requirements. New laundry technology designed to work most efficiently and effectively on a large scale will provide a better product for patients at a lower cost.
Patient safety and comfort is an important focus of the new service. Implementing industry best practices and independent testing will ensure a high level of infection prevention and control. Standard work practices for the safe handling of clean and soiled linen in health care facilities have been developed and will be applied consistently across the province. High quality linen products will also enhance the patient experience.
Quality and responsive customer service is an on-going priority of the new service. Quality audits are conducted on a monthly basis to ensure the linen service meets established quality standards in a number of areas. Processes to remove defective linen from the inventory are in place. Training and learning tools have been developed and delivered to ensure the delivery of a high quality linen service to patients and residents.
The innovations at the new plant are designed to ensure worker safety, save energy and lessen environmental impact. Equipment is designed to optimize water use, utilize natural light, and use energy efficiently. “Hands-off” processing systems protect workers from contamination and overhead conveyor systems are located away from worker traffic areas.
Bags of soiled linen await placement in the tunnel washers that can process up to 5,000 lbs of linen an hour, using one third of the water a regular washer would use.
K-Bro Linen Systems, Inc. is the largest provider of laundry and linen services in Canada meeting the needs of healthcare, hospitality and other commercial sectors with operations in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia as well as Saskatchewan. K-Bro brings over 60 years of experience to health care linen service and is currently serving approximately 25,000 hospital and long-term care beds across the country.