November 12, 2013
Recently, we helped a children’s medical facility in Erie, Pa., significantly lower its utility costs and raise staff efficiency by providing right-sized, high-efficiency on-premises laundry (OPL) equipment solutions to its management team. Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center was transitioning from a 30-bed acute-care hospital to an outpatient facility and wanted its operations to be greener. This undertaking included an update to the facility’s laundry room with more efficient, new equipment, appropriately sized for the facility’s diminished new use. The primary goals of this update were to decrease utility bills and make laundry room operation more efficient so that more staff members could spend less time doing laundry and more time on other tasks.
Having had a positive experience with a Maytag Commercial Laundry 50-pound Washer-Extractor, purchased eight years before, the medical facility turned to veteran Maytag distributor Equipment Marketers, Inc., of Cherry Hill, N.J., for guidance in its laundry room overhaul. The main obstacle standing in the way of a greener OPL was an outdated 135-pound washer. This washer paired with the newer Maytag Commercial Laundry 50-pound Washer-Extractor, produced a total laundry capacity far in excess of the hospital’s current laundry needs. This led to inefficient use of staff labor hours, as well as unnecessarily high energy and water costs.
Equipment Marketers’ solution to this dilemma was twofold—installing new, energy- and water-efficient OPL equipment and ensuring that the new equipment was a more accurate fit for current laundry needs. The latter of the two solutions would allow the hospital to decrease the time taken to launder linens and free up staff members to work in other areas of the hospital. Equipment Marketers presented hospital management with right-sized, energy- and water-saving equipment options, ultimately leading to their purchase of a Maytag Commercial Laundry Energy Advantage 55-pound Soft-Mount Washer-Extractor. In addition to helping the Shriners Hospitals for Children team understand all product options and select an ideal washer, Equipment Marketers also discussed installation requirements and the flexibility offered with Maytag Commercial Laundry equipment.
In order to simplify installation, Maytag Commercial Laundry designed the 55-pound Soft-Mount Washer-Extractor model to fit through a standard 36-inch door opening. In replacement situations, this is especially important. Adding to the installation flexibility, the soft-mount suspension system reduces the need for machine bolt-down, so installation is possible on above-grade floors, helping to save time and other installation costs. While the washer is gentle enough to operate in centuries-old buildings, the 304-grade stainless steel cabinet is tough enough to withstand ongoing use. Fortunately, there was no laundry service downtime during the installation—a big advantage, as the hospital needs clean linens available at all times.
Shriners Hospitals for Children was very pleased with the helpful customer service and industry knowledge of Maytag Commercial Laundry and Equipment Marketers, from first contact to equipment installation and have been thrilled with the results. With a now optimally sized laundry optimally sized laundry operation, the hospital has seen marked reductions in energy and water consumption, which are reflected in its utility bills. The laundry operation has also become more efficient, with the ability to complete more loads of laundry in less time and free up some staff hours. The hospital has taken advantage of this staff productivity increase by cross-training staff members to also work in the hospital’s environmental services department.
Right-sizing laundry equipment in OPL facilities is gaining ground as an effective way to green up daily operations in the hospitality and healthcare industries, due to its multiple benefits. Being environmentally conscious and finding new ways to operate more efficiently and within budget is crucial in the laundry rooms of today’s healthcare facilities. By upgrading to appropriately sized, multi-load high-speed washer-extractors, these facilities can experience benefits similar to Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center, which collectively boost their bottom line.