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Hospitals have strict protocols for cleanliness and hygiene, but this parameter has gained further significance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Any negligence in the proper treatment of patients can spread the infection to hospital staff and doctors as well. In India, the healthcare sector received a severe jolt during the pandemic, exposing lacunae in the implementation of basic principles about health and hygiene. People were afraid to visit hospitals during the first and second phases of the pandemic due to the fear of catching coronavirus infection. This has driven the whole healthcare sector to give special attention to the linen used by patients in the form of bed sheets, pillow covers and clothes.
Generally, hospitals have in-house laundry services, and they also give linen to washermen sometimes. In the absence of specialized treatment and monitoring, there are high chances that the soiled linen of patients will be mixed with the clean linen or linen used by hospital staff and doctors. This increased the possibility of spreading several pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it becomes critical to ensure proper hygiene of towels, mattresses, screens, curtains, blankets, pillow covers, doctor coats, bedsheets, etc., in medical facilities.
Apart from that, there is a surging need for 100% germ-free linen for intensive care units (ICU) and inpatient beds to treat deadly infections like coronavirus. The trend is currently propelling the demand for clean hospital linen, and it can be met with the Unique Infection Control Laundry System, which uses barrier technology that prevents cross-contamination.
Unique Infection Control Laundry System has been introduced in India recently and is being used by third-party organisations like laundries. It uses barrier technology which features a dual access system whereby soiled laundry is loaded on one side of the machine. The soiled laundry can only be unloaded at the end of the cycle from the opposite 'clean' side of the machine.
A barrier washer is an ideal way to prevent infection from spreading while washing linen. Due to its safe and convenient feature, the technology is being used by many laundries in India, which are now providing online on-demand services. These laundry services have seen a significant growth in the pandemic when demand for antimicrobial treatment of lien surged. Not only hospitals but hotels and corporations are also using these laundry services, which use barrier technology and Unique Infection Control Laundry systems in their operations.
According to a recent report by marc Group "Hospital linen Supply and Management Services Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-26 , the global hospital linen supply and management services market exhibited strong growth during 2015-2020. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during 2021-2026, as per the report.
Hospital linen Supply and Management Services help in managing clothes and reducing the risk of cross-contamination as compared to the in-house laundry that involves massive installation and maintenance costs.
Due to the growing demand for advanced healthcare facilities in the wake of chronic diseases like COVID-19, technological interventions like infection control laundry systems can reduce the risk of infection and diseases by a huge margin. The implementation of such technologies, therefore, becomes important in private as well as government hospitals for better public health.
The emerging standards of microbiological control in hospitals can be met with these technologies, thereby setting uncompromising levels of safety, hygiene, and disease control in developing and densely populated countries like India.
(The article is contributed by Mr. Narendra Kumar, Co- Founder, SPIN CYCLES)
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