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Electrolux keeps hospital infections away

Bacteria spread easily through sheets, towels and other textiles. Therefore, when it comes to laundry in healthcare facilities, one cannot be meticulous enough.

Infections in hospitals are a bigger challenge than one might think. In fact, around 30 percent of patients in intensive care units (ICU) are affected by at least one healthcare-associated infection. And this is in high-income countries. In low- and middle-income countries, the situation is even worse; the frequency of ICU-acquired infections is at least two or three times higher. So strict hygiene standards, also when it comes to seemingly ordinary tasks like doing laundry, are crucial to ensuring patient safety. Electrolux has both the equipment and the expertise to help combat infections and maintain hygiene.

Holistic and strict approach

Electrolux Professional has a holistic approach to laundry hygiene with both laundry equipment that maintains top level hygiene and expertise. At the core, we have the Laundry Cycle Management concept. It applies the barrier principle at all steps of the linen cleaning process from dirty bed to clean bed. Barrier laundry basically means that dirty laundry never gets in contact with clean laundry to avoid contamination. The Laundry Cycle Management ensures that clean linen is not contaminated by dirty linen or the surrounding environment.

“Washing linen is an easy task for any hospital, but keeping it uncontaminated until it is used is the real challenge. Our approach makes a real difference in terms of resource efficient,” says Landry Guillochon, Global Segment Manager Care at Electrolux Professional. 

The equipment is developed in close co-operation with users and global experts on healthcare hygiene. Equally important, Electrolux Professional is actively involved in advising hospitals and other healthcare facilities on how to manage the laundry cycle to maintain top hygiene.

Laundry Cycle Management by Electrolux.

The dirty side of the Barrier Laundry at PUMCH hospital in China.

Unloading a 70 kg Pullman Barrier Washer.

This is Electrolux Laundry Cycle Management

  1. Collecting, pre-sorting and storing of dirty linen at source
  2. Proper conditioning and transporting dirty linen to the laundry department
  3. Sorting of dirty linen and preparing of batches to wash
  4. Washing with the right temperature and detergent mix for each textile group
  5. Drying and ironing to be carried out quickly to minimize re-contamination
  6. Proper protection of clean linen and preparing for delivery
  7. Transporting clean linen back to wards
  8. Proper storage of clean linen in wards

A new level of hygiene

The company’s largest collaboration to date is the development of a barrier laundry system at China’s most renowned hospital PUMCH (Peking Union Medical College Hospital). The hospital specializes in severe diseases and is a huge operation. It covers a total area of 530,000 square meters, offers 2,000 beds, receives over 5 million outpatients annually and handles more than 14 tons of laundry every day.

“This is an impressive example of modern healthcare laundry management. It has set the standard for washing performance in Chinese healthcare, with better hygiene and improved patient safety,” says Guillochon.

Electrolux Professional’s collaboration with PUMCH is a top reference project within Electrolux Professional and the industry.

Spreading the word

Building on the experience from PUMCH and other collaborations, Electrolux Professional has continued to spread the word about Laundry Cycle Management and the services to support healthcare facilities all over the world. Several national healthcare systems have since embraced the Laundry Cycle Management approach.

“We want to promote our capacity to support hospitals and other facilities with holistic solutions, far beyond just installing washers and dryers,” says Guillochon.

This case study is related to our promise Constantly improve product performance and efficiency