Helpful Tips for Efficiently Managing Isolation Gowns

 
June 25, 2020,

Isolation gowns are a hot topic as healthcare facilities seek to protect staff members from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Though not new by any means, isolation gowns are now one of the stars of the PPE show. We are happy to be able to provide hygienically clean, reusable isolation gowns along with hygienically clean healthcare uniforms, linens and face masks.

One of our goals is to ensure that each and every one of our customers has what they need when they need it. We understand there may be some difficulty in obtaining enough isolation gowns to meet your facility’s needs. Alsco can help rectify that.

In this post, we have put together some helpful information for efficiently managing isolation gowns. Much of the content in this post is echoed by the CDC in its own “Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Isolation Gowns” document. Isolation-gown management will be a priority for the foreseeable future.

Optimize Gown Supply

The first step in managing the supply of isolation gowns is to work with your supplier at every step. Your supplier should be able to optimize the number of gowns you receive by adjusting inventory and delivery schedules. It might be necessary to take more frequent delivery to ensure optimized inventory levels.

This tip might seem so obvious that it doesn’t need to be said. However, it plays well into the next tip: reducing face-to-face interactions.

Understand Current Usage Rates

It’s important that health care facilities understand their current gown-usage rates. How many isolation gowns does each employee use each day or each week? How many total gowns does a single department go through? Data is key to efficiency.

Understanding usage rates helps management know where the greatest needs are. Where usage seems higher than expected, this is a signal to dig a little deeper to understand. Once you understand your ongoing usage, you can also see when spikes in usage occur and try to get ahead of them so you have a more consistent use of product, protecting your supply. There may be ways to reduce usage without affecting quality of care or staff safety.

Maintain Constant Communication

Communication is key to so many thing—including the efficient management of isolation gowns. First, facility management teams should communicate regularly with staff members about the need to use isolation gowns when providing direct patient care. Management should be equally communicative about when isolation gowns are not required.

Further, facilities should maintain constant communication with their PPE providers as well. Here at Alsco, we are just a click or a phone call away. And of course, you can work directly with route personnel to adjust inventory, modify delivery schedules and more.

Train Healthcare Providers

Those providing care on the front lines should receive regular training regarding all their PPE. For example, there are right and wrong ways to handle isolation gowns at the start and end of a shift. Properly handled gowns are safe. When handled improperly, soiled gowns can increase transmission of the pathogens they host.

In addition to uniforms and linens, Alsco carries isolation gowns and reusable face masks for healthcare workers. We invite you to learn more about both by contacting us at your earliest convenience. We would be happy to set up a complete healthcare linen and uniform program tailored to the needs of your facility.