Medical

Sharp rise in demand for hygienic workwear management solution

21st January 2021
Lanna Deamer

Workwear management company, Polytex has announced that the demand of hospitals over the globe for its hygienic workwear management solution has risen sharply in 2020. The fully automated, hands-free end-to-end solution, which includes machines, software, and a smartphone application, supports the entire workwear lifecycle. The system monitors turnover and inventory level and ensures 24/7 availability of the workwear at multiple location points across the entire hospital.

COVID-19 has strengthened the understanding that hygiene standards in hospital units must be maintained at a high level. To achieve this, medical teams need a consistent supply of clean scrubs to prevent contamination and the spread of viruses and bacteria. Polytex solutions ensure that medical teams get clean and fresh workwear via a fully automated closed system unit featuring hands-free dispensing and returning of items.

There are currently over 3,000 Polytex units operating in 20 countries, including Israel, the US, Spain, Germany, and France, alongside countries in east Europe and Asia. The healthcare sector and specifically hospitals are the largest customer for the Polytex automated workwear management solution. Hotels, health clubs and industrial facilities where hygiene is important, are also target markets of the company.

In Israel, the company’s end to end solution is currently in operation at all the mid to large size hospitals in the country. Israel’s Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, the country’s largest hospital, typifies how the pandemic has impacted hospitals. In 2019 the hospital ran a pilot program with one scrub dispensing and return unit at the Rehabilitation Department. By the end of 2020 Sheba had deployed 20 stations around the hospital and is planning further installations.

According to a Sheba case study, the major advantages of using Polytex technology have been a 45% reduction in annual uniform purchase costs, improved staff satisfaction and no less important, improved hygiene levels. More than 4,500 doctors, nurses, and lab workers - over half the entire staff - now have clean and hygienic uniforms waiting for them at convenient locations through the Sheba campus, eliminating the need for a central storeroom.

In addition, the deployment of the Polytex solution at Sheba was in line with the hospital management’s strategy of adopting innovative technologies to improve efficiency while at the same time receiving the support of the workers’ committees for pooled uniforms and automation.

The Polytex solution is fully automated and enables hands-free dispensing and collecting of individual uniforms. The system itself is sealed, keeping garments in a clean environment that is opened only by laundry professionals during collection and restocking. The system is available on a 24/7 basis and often installed at multiple locations enabling staff to receive and return garments in seconds thereby avoiding unnecessary crowding.

The units can also be moved to special temporary wards dedicated to infectious diseases like Covid-19. The Polytex automated system is backed by a centralized cloud-based management and monitoring applications for end-to-end tracking.

“Medical staff uniforms have become a potential health hazard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has led to tremendous interest in our solution from medical institutions around the world new and existing markets," said Yariv Matzliach, CEO of Polytex. He added that “our solution allows medical staff to change uniforms faster, often many times a day, without fear of contamination. In the coming weeks, we expect to sign agreements in new markets."

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