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Healthcare Trends: Hospital Infrastructure

A hospital's overall functioning and delivery of patient care is heavily influenced by its basic infrastructure. Infrastructure is at the core of patient care by supporting fundamental elements including safety, efficiency, timeliness, privacy, equipment and access to preferred medical supplies. With over 6,000 hospitals and nearly one million hospital beds throughout the United States, smooth functioning of hospitals is a national priority. Especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is positioned to invest in modernization with a forward-looking mentality. We'll examine some of the biggest healthcare trends in hospital infrastructure and how it could be the key to improving healthcare.

Flexibility

COVID-19 has been severely testing the ability of our nation's hospitals to respond rapidly and effectively.  Many facilities have been forced to re-purpose internal space, increase bed capacity and quickly adjust logistical process flows.  This reorganization is no small feat with when you consider the many resources that a hospital requires.  Flexibility of a hospital's infrastructure has been a key factor in the speed at which hospitals are able to adjust.  Mobile or temporary modular units can facilitate optimization of hospital resources.   Shifts in demand for care are becoming increasingly common and mobile/modular clinics can be a valuable extension of any facility that can serve a variety of functions depending on need.  Interior modular construction can also be seen as a cost saving solution to increased flexibility.  Installing pre-manufactured walls affords hospitals the ability to reconfigure rooms as needed and avoid heavy duty construction.  While health care providers are still battling the current pandemic, healthcare planners are already considering future measures to improve flexibility and resilience of hospitals.

Medtech and Data Management

Another healthcare trend is that the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly connected through the internet, technology and advancing software.  Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are used by more than 94% of hospitals and have become an integral part of healthcare.  Medical technology companies manufacture more than 500,000 different types of medical devices, according to a healthcare trends technology report by Deloitte.  Many of these devices are interacting with monitoring and recording patient data.  The digital and physical world are coming together to advance the way we diagnose and treat patients.  Smart devices will further connect and aid communication but also create a large volume of data.  Deloitte predicts this process may lead to improved patient outcomes including decreased costs, improved diagnoses, better disease management and overall enhanced patient experience.  Development of medical technology could grow into a $158.1 billion industry by 2022.  Many health officials advocate for increased data infrastructure to improve communication between hospital systems.  This area of data management could be key for managing increased testing of COVID-19.  Electronic data sharing is currently de-centralized and health agencies are seeing the value in establishing a standardized method of reporting.

Healthcare Supply

COVID-19 has heightened the awareness that the United States has become somewhat reliant on foreign-made medical supplies.  This has made our system vulnerable during the pandemic and contributed to the shortages of PPE, ventilators and other preferred medical supplies.  One healthcare trend we're keeping an eye on is how hospitals supplies may be impacted by a push to strengthen domestic production of medical supplies.  COVID-19 may open up a new era of manufacturing essential products within the United States.  This could be beneficial to hospitals in some ways such as increased visibility of the supply chain, increased demand planning and strong relationships between hospitals and suppliers.  However, there could also be negative impacts like increased costs and more strict inventory management within hospital systems.  Currently, the White House's Coronavirus Task Force is leading a four-pronged approach to coordinate supply chains.  Although many hospitals are currently overwhelmed with immediate supply concerns, the healthcare industry may be in a position to review the entire supply system and improve upon it.

 

The Perspective from Lakeside Manufacturing

At Lakeside, we place a high priority on staying informed with the latest healthcare trends and how they may impact our customers.  Healthcare is a rapidly changing environment.  As a supplier to the industry, we hope to be a resource and to share helpful information from our team's experience.  Hospital infrastructure is a critical component to smooth functioning.  Whether it's medical carts or hospital cleanliness, Lakeside strives to be on the cutting edge of the healthcare industry.  We welcome any feedback, questions or comments.  Please give us a call or send an email today!

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Selecting the Right Material for Healthcare Facilities

Within a single healthcare facility, there can be thousands of pieces of equipment if not more. Each piece of equipment plays an important role in treating patients and assisting healthcare professionals. With their various functions, equipment is constructed of many different materials. We’ll explore some of these material choices and take a look at their differences, similarities and their role within your hospital.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used for medical equipment, and there’s a good reason for this. Stainless steel is extremely strong and durable, and one of the best metals when it comes to corrosion resistance, making it a great long term solution for many types of medical equipment. Additionally, stainless steel is praised for its self-healing ability, which is caused by the addition of chromium to the alloy. This creates a film on the surface of the metal which is very stable, and will continually reform, making the surface durable and hygienic. Stainless steel is antimicrobial and very easy to clean due to its self-healing properties, making it an ideal material for healthcare facilities that require sterile equipment.

Some common applications of stainless steel in healthcare facilities include:

  • Surgical instruments
  • Sinks and hand washing stations
  • Tables
  • Cabinets
  • Trays
  • Surgical Case Carts

Surgical instruments and equipment are among the most important applications of stainless steel.  Lakeside Manufacturing embodies the value of stainless steel in many of our surgical case carts.  For example, our new space saving case cart is highly durable and easy to clean while delivering heavy duty construction and efficient maneuverability.

Aluminum

Aluminum is another popular material in healthcare facilities. Although it doesn’t quite have the strength of stainless steel, aluminum is still a strong and durable metal that is well known for its corrosion resistance. Aluminum is the light weight alternative when compared to stainless steel and can be easier to maneuver when used for light loads. Another useful property of aluminum is its thermal and electrical conductivity, which is necessary in some types of medical equipment. Aluminum is a great option for equipment that doesn’t require a high level of strength, durability, or heavy duty load capacity.

Some common applications of aluminum in healthcare facilities include:

  • Supply Carts
  • Frames for medical carts
  • Stools
  • Tables

The Classic Anesthesia Cart from Lakeside Manufacturing uses aluminum to create a secure and lightweight solution for healthcare facilities. This medical cart is just one example of a medical cart that utilizes an aluminum frame for a lightweight design.

Plastic

Even more lightweight than aluminum is plastic.  Plastic is a very workable material and can be formed into virtually any shape for various equipment types.  Medical carts is one major application of plastic but the material is an extremely versatile material.  Plastic doesn’t match the durability of stainless steel or aluminum, but it can still be adequately strong for certain applications. There are so many different types of plastics that can all be used in various ways but the majority of plastics in healthcare facilities are made from thermoplastic materials, making them easy to disinfect, re-mold and re-use.  Plastic is a viable and cheapest alternative to metals like stainless steel and aluminum. Plastics are utilized in almost endless ways in healthcare facilities from very large machinery to small accessories and everything in between.

Some common applications of plastics in healthcare facilities include:

  • Utility Carts
  • Specialty Carts
  • Medical Carts
  • Bins
  • MRI Machines
  • Bed Pans
  • Medication Lock Boxes

Lakeside utilizes plastic in the construction of several utility carts and components of several other products.  Our stainless steel medical carts include polycarbonate doors that compliment the rugged stainless steel construction without adding to the weight of the medical cart.  The use of plastic also allows for the integration of a transparent window in the door itself.  The scratch-resistant window allows for healthcare workers to easily see inside without opening the medical cart.  For surgical case carts, plastic is a great material for flexible features and customization.

Copper

Although copper is not widely used in medical equipment today, it has been getting some buzz in the media lately due to its antimicrobial properties. A recent study found that copper alloy surfaces kill 99.9% of bacteria within 2 hours. This is due to the properties of copper which allow it to remove an electron from the bacteria once it comes into contact with the copper surface.  This makes the bacteria unstable and eventually kills it.  These abilities make copper seem like the perfect material for surgical case carts and other equipment.  However, it is very expensive and not as workable as other material alternatives like stainless steel and aluminum.

One argument from health economists estimates that copper surfaces would pay for themselves in about 3-6 months if they were incorporated into ICUs.  Studies have shown that it kills a long list of microbes and has the potential to play an invaluable role in healthcare facilities.  The Sentara Hospital system in North Carolina and Virginia made copper-impregnated surfaces the standard across 13 hospitals in 2017 after a Virginia Beach hospital reported a 78 percent reduction in drug-resistant organisms.  While some hospitals are beginning to incorporate copper surfaces, the full potential of this material is yet to be seen in healthcare settings.

Lakeside's Commitment to Innovation

At Lakeside Manufacturing, we works with steel, plastic, aluminum and pretty much anything our customers require.  We offer custom solutions to meet your needs, no matter the challenge.  Our engineering team has the capabilities to modify existing products or completely custom build medical carts, offering an endless variety of options!  With years of design and customer service experience, we thrive on innovation and finding practical solutions to meet your needs.  If you're not seeing the right solution in our standard catalog contact us!  We are happy to discuss your unique application and hear your ideas.

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Manufacturers Adapt to Support the Demands of Hospitals

We have all become acutely aware of the incredible shortages that hospitals face due to COVID-19. Demand for PPE, ventilators, auxiliary equipment, etc. has skyrocketed as hospitals are scrambling to protect patients and healthcare workers. With the medical supply chain stretched to its limits, many manufacturers are stepping up to fill in the gaps. Even with increased production, our country’s largest suppliers are not able to keep up. In response, we are seeing companies from non-medical industries stepping outside their standard production protocols to support the cause.

Ford, GM & Tesla

In the Automotive Industry, Ford, GM and Tesla are designing and manufacturing ventilators by partnering with existing manufacturers and offering assistance to increase production.  On Monday, Tesla engineers displayed a prototype for medical ventilators that are in very high demand due to the outbreak.  The company plans to utilize their own parts and components in order to avoid disruption to the medical supply chain. Ford has partnered with GE and 3M to start manufacturing ventilators and PAPRs.  Over the course of the next four months, Ford plans to produce 50,000 ventilators.  Ford has also been 3D printing face shields at full capacity to support the crisis.

Clothing Companies

Automotive manufacturing is not the only industry who is jumping in to help.  Clothing companies including Zara and Los Angeles Apparel are producing masks and hospital gowns buy re-purposing fabric materials from their own supply chains.   These companies are striving to manufacturer hundreds of thousands of face masks and hospital gowns and are donating a large majority of the production.  Companies like Los Angeles Apparel have even hired additional staff to keep up with the demands for masks.  Many believe this will not be a passing fad but it will become the standard to wear a face mask when sick.

Dyson

Dyson, known for its fans and vacuum cleaners, is intuitively able to transition to production of a brand new Dyson ventilator.  The company has partnered with Grey Technologies to develop a new ventilator design that works efficiently to conserve oxygen, mounts to hospital beds and is easily portable.  Dyson is donating 5,000 units, 1,000 of which will go to the United Kingdom where the company is headquartered.  In addition to this donation, Grey Technologies is making its ventilator designs free for other manufacturers to produce.

 

 

How Lakeside Manufacturing Is Supporting Medical Facilities

At Lakeside Manufacturing, we are utilizing our engineering capabilities to take products that are in shortage and create simplified, quick-ship versions as a rapid response to COVID-19.  We understand that the fight against COVID-19 will require all of us to innovate and find creative solutions to combat equipment shortages.  In response to shortages of IV Poles throughout hospitals, Lakeside has designed and is actively manufacturing a heavy duty, stainless-steel IV Stand with minimal lead time and shipping of up to 25 units in just 3 days.  We will be updating our COVID-19 Resource page with additional rapid response products.  Please contact us with any feedback or for current lead time estimates at [email protected] or 800-558-8565.

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Hospitals and Organizations Work Together to Prepare for COVID-19 Surges

Hospitals and governments around the world are expeditiously preparing their state, community and hospitals for a surge of COVID-19 cases.  Personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, shields, gloves, booties and gowns are most notably in short supply and many organizations are stepping up to manufacture and/or donate these materials.  The world has also seen many creative solutions from engineers and businesses who are working hard to partner with hospitals in this fight against the virus.  As a supplier to the healthcare industry, we are doing our best to ensure high demand items such as isolation carts, IV Poles, and mobile hand washing stations are available to these organizations with the same swift lead times customers have come to expect from Lakeside Manufacturing.

The most prominent shortage in hospitals around the world is a lack of personal protective equipment for hospital personnel. PPE is essential to protect hospital staff from exposure and ultimately infection. Hospitals have already taken drastic measures to limit the use of these items with reports of some hospitals recommending that staff reuse masks following the recommended protocol of the CDC. Additionally, many organizations are coming together to donate PPE to hospitals across the US. The website getusppe.org is one of the resources hospitals have turned to which allows hospitals to list their PPE needs and delivery instructions while allowing donors to identify local hospitals that need supplies.

Other ways in which hospitals have been able to combat supply shortages is through informal partnerships with businesses, manufacturers and universities. One example of this comes from the University of Madison-Wisconsin Grainger Design Innovation Lab where engineers have created a prototype and already partnered with a manufacturer to assemble face shields for hospital personnel. This type of successful innovation has occurred across the world as businesses outside the healthcare industry creatively repurpose their facilities to help combat this global crisis.

As a supplier to the healthcare industry, Lakeside understands the importance of readying inventory to prepare for the needs of our clients. Lakeside’s manufacturing facilities have been working hard to ensure they can do their part to serve as a reliable and safe source of stainless steel medical carts during this global situation. Specifically, Lakeside is ensuring that the following products will be available to ship within 2-3 days of order:

  • Utility cart models 422, 311, 411, 444 and 459 are ideal for all sizes of storage and continuous transporting over even floor surfaces. These carts are durable and include protective bumpers to safeguard furnishings and sanitize easily.
  • Standard guard rail cart models 316, 526 and 730 are optimal for any situation where hospital personnel are transporting vital items which can easily fall off a cart. Protective guard rails help eliminate spills and breakage of materials ensuring hospitals reduce the risk of wasting critical medical supplies. The welded stainless steel construction provides exceptional durability and easy sanitation.
  • The 4 shelf compact utility cart with nylon cover is a compact, maneuverable cart available in three different shelf sizes to tailor to client needs. The all-welded stainless steel construction allows for a durable and sanitary option in linen delivery. The standard blue nylon cart cover protects linens from airborne dust and dirt, while at the same time allowing for easy accessibility to the contents of the cart.

Lakeside continues to monitor the global environment related to COVID-19 and is taking proactive measures to ensure operations continue to the satisfaction of customers.  Visit our COVID-19 Resource Page to see more insights from our team. As hospitals face increased pressure to prepare their facilities for COVID-19, Lakeside is working diligently to help secure the supply of essential healthcare products that play a role in distributing and storing PPE throughout healthcare facilities.  The supply lines of the healthcare industry are vital to fighting this virus, and here at Lakeside we will continue to do our part in serving the industry during this time of need.

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.

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Hospitals are Gearing up for Isolation Areas and Triage Tents

Hospitals are diligently working to limit the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.  Isolating symptomatic patients as soon as possible is a key factor for infection control in healthcare settings.  With the goal of minimizing exposure to patients and healthcare personnel, hospitals are working fast to set up isolation areas and triage tents.

Hospitals are sectioning off isolation areas, where a limited number of healthcare personnel are allowed access. Triage tents are set up outside of hospitals, where visitors are screened coming into the hospital in order to limit the number of individuals entering the facility and the spread of infection within the facility. Equipment and supplies utilized in these units are restricted to these areas as another method to limit infection spread. This is pushing hospitals to allocate resources to isolation areas and triage tents to handle a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Triage Tents

The World Health Organization lists guidance for strengthening clinical management of COVID-19 patients. Triage is the first step in recognizing and sorting patients based on their symptoms. Since much of COVID-19 testing is manual, triage tents are beneficial for creating an alternative space for testing away from other patient areas. Many of these tents are being set up outdoors and are similar to tents you might see at a large event. Inside the tent, hospitals are preparing to supply the equipment necessary for efficient screening. A look inside these tents shows some of the items hospitals are accounting for in their triage tents.

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a priority for triage tents. This include gloves, masks, gowns and other equipment that serves as an infection barrier for healthcare personnel and infected patients.
  • PPE must be stored in an accessible and sanitary environment that is easily transportable by healthcare personnel. Stainless steel Lakeside Case Carts are manufactured in various sizes and weight capacities allow hospitals to select the best fit for their triage space.
  • Healthcare personnel are also taking more extensive protection measures by wearing impermeable gowns and Power Air Purifying Respirators or N95 Respirators and eye protection. These are only some of the various examples that are being used in triage tents to protect against airborne illnesses.
  • Mobile handwashing stations are units supplied with soap and water to maintain high sanitary standards for healthcare professionals in triage tents. Units like the Lakeside Compact Portable Handwashing Station help conserve space and are easily transportable.
  • Tables and chairs must be set up for healthcare workers to better triage patients coming into the hospital. The setup design also serves as physical barrier to prevent patients from easily walking into the hospital before being properly triaged.
  • Emergency carts are designed to easily access life-saving equipment and medication in the event that a patient needs emergency treatment. They are typically located throughout most hospital departments as a precautionary measure. The lightweight Persolife Emergency Cart allows easy accessibility to vital healthcare supplies.

Isolation Rooms

Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) are a standard for hospitals but many facilities are anticipating that existing capacity will not be sufficient during this time.  AIIRs use negative air pressure to prevent airborne illnesses from escaping the room and infecting others.  These areas have been used for illnesses such as tuberculosis or measles in the past.  With a looming surge of COVID-19 patients, hospitals need to prepare additional space for isolation beyond AIIRs.

Hospitals are evaluating their population sizes to predict isolation space needed for a surge at their hospital. Some examples include hospitals working with local universities to prepare overflow space in empty student dormitories for patients who are not critically ill and transforming certain ICU units into COVID-19 units. Hospitals are also preparing for equipment shortages in these spaces by reusing PPE and converting respiratory equipment into functional ventilators.  Some of the tactics hospitals are employing to get isolation areas up and running include:

  • Using parts of the ER, ICU or other patient care areas to separate known or suspected cases.
  • Making handwashing stations readily available upon entrance and exit into isolation areas with adequate handwashing supplies. Mobile sinks, like the Lakeside Mobile Hand Washing Station, may prove valuable for this purpose.
  • Removing all non-essential furniture and utilize only furniture that is easy to clean.
  • Utilize carts outside the isolation area to ensure PPE is readily available before entering. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has a checklist specifically for stocking isolation area carts.
  • Use mobile, hands free waste disposal systems inside the isolation area. Accessories like the Lakeside Trash Bag Kit attach onto case carts.
  • Hospitals are also setting up carts for dedicated patient supplies within the patient’s reach. Water, tissue and other personal hygiene items should be easily accessible.  It is critical that the cart can be thoroughly disinfected before use by other patients.  Carts like the Lakeside Guard Rail Cart are a great solution.

Lakeside is closely monitoring hospital supply needs for the COVID-19 pandemic. Lakeside will continue to work hard to provide updates on equipment needs for hospitals and other healthcare facilities as the situation continues to evolve.

We are working hard to ensure our supply meets the increasing demand at this time. If your organization has any questions on carts for special facilities, please reach out to our sales team.

 

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.

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The Importance of Stainless Steel

Amidst the global spread of COVID-19, sanitization is more important than ever, especially for healthcare facilities, who are on the front lines of the battle against this pandemic. Sanitary equipment is imperative to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and our healthcare facilities need access to increased amounts of supplies such as masks, ventilators, hospital beds, emergency carts, and other ancillary equipment. While hospitals are investing in additional supplies, we must consider what materials are best suited to combat this situation. Medical equipment is manufactured with various types of metals, plastics, and more. But which is the best for safety and sanitization? The consensus of the medical community is widely agreed upon: stainless steel.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steels are iron-based alloys that contain at least 10.5% chromium and 1.2% or less carbon. There are many different types or grades of stainless steel which are created by altering the percentages of its contents, and adding in different metals and elements such as:

• Nickel
• Molybdenum
• Titanium
• Copper
• Carbon
• Nitrogen

In fact, there are over 50 different grades of stainless steel. Grades such as 200 and 400 series are widely used but they all share properties that cause this metal to have its unique sterilization capabilities. Stainless Steel gets its “claim to fame” due to its ability to resist rust and corrosion. This property is due to the addition of chromium which creates a chromium-oxide film on the surface when exposed to oxygen. This film acts as a barrier between the steel and the environment. If the film is broken, it has the ability to self-heal, as long as oxygen is present. With this ability, stainless steel makes an excellent choice for medical equipment that is constantly wiped down, washed and cleaned. All this cleaning would likely damage other materials but this where stainless really shines! It’s chromium-oxide film allows it to heal itself after getting beat up by the variety of cleaning methods necessary in a healthcare environment.

Why is stainless steel the hygienic standard in healthcare facilities?

The unique capability to self-heal helps create a surface that is very easy to sanitize in comparison to other materials used widely in medical equipment. Other materials such as ceramics, plastics and polymers are susceptible to micro cracks, dents, and scratches which harbor bacteria and other germs. Oftentimes these micro cracks are invisible to the naked eye, making these materials especially challenging to thoroughly clean. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is highly durable and resistant to cracks, dents and scratches. Its natural film protects the metal and reduces the amount of maintenance necessary. With all this in mind, it becomes clear why other materials cannot steel the crown from stainless steel as the king of durability and cleanability.

We can also see why stainless steel is widely used in medical applications. Not only is it extremely durable, but it is also an easy material to work with as it can be cut, welded, and shaped very easily, while providing extra strength. Stainless steel also lasts much longer than other materials and won’t scratch and dent over time. This makes stainless steel an excellent investment that ensures easy cleaning and low maintenance for years to come. Stainless steel also has high temperature resistance, meaning that even in high temperature environments it won’t deform or break under mechanical stress unlike many other materials.

Common Medical Applications of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is used for a variety of different medical applications including:

  • Surgical Instruments
  • Cabinets
  • Sinks
  • Tables
  • Stands
  • Case Carts
  • Utility Carts

Stainless steel is specifically useful for utility carts as they must be able to carry heavy loads, while not being too heavy by themselves. Additionally, the sanitary element is very important for utility carts in healthcare facilities, and stainless steel provides the best surface to ensure safe and sanitary equipment. A great example of the strength of stainless steel comes from the Lakeside 444 Utility Cart which has a capacity of 500 lbs. while only weighing 68 lbs. itself. Utility carts like this have the best durability and value, because they will last much longer than a similar cart made from aluminum or a different alloy.

Importance of Stainless Steel During COVID-19

The ongoing pandemic is pushing the healthcare industry to the limit, and the need for safe and sanitary equipment is at an all-time high. Because COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, it spreads very easily, and healthcare facilities and equipment must be sanitized effectively. It is recommended that healthcare facilities assign the daily cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces to the nurses and personnel who will already be in close contact with the patient. The use of stainless steel instead of plastic or aluminum equipment makes the sterilization process simpler and takes a load off the healthcare professionals who are tasked with the job of cleaning these hazardous surfaces.

Lakeside Manufacturing is committed to supporting medical facilities with rapid manufacturing and shipping times. Our facility remains open and operational under the essential business provisions granted by local and federal guidelines. Please reach out if your facility is in need of case carts or utility carts during this challenging time. Lakeside is prepared to support increased demand of stainless steel products and remains dedicated to providing quality healthcare solutions.

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.

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A Guide to Disinfecting Stainless Steel

Medical communities around the globe are more preoccupied than ever with disinfecting equipment.  COVID-19 is changing the conversation about how we clean, not only in medical facilities but also at home and throughout our communities.  With stainless steel being the preferred material by the medical community, it is imperative that we understand how to properly sanitize stainless steel equipment.  Lakeside manufactures a wide variety of stainless steel medical carts, shelves and accessories and we’ve put together a guide on how to accomplish this.

Selecting a Disinfectant

According to a study from the National Institute of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 was detectable on up to three days on stainless steel products. Therefore, verifying that the correct product is being used to disinfect surfaces is paramount.  The Environment Protection Agency created a list of disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19.

While bleach should generally be avoided for cleaning stainless steel products, common products such as Lysol Spray or Lysol Wipes can be used on stainless steel.  If you decide to use a product of this type, it is extremely important that you rinse the surface thoroughly with fresh water.  Lysol and similar products can be abrasive to stainless steel if the substance is on the surface of the stainless steel for an extended period.

Using the Right Tools

Prior to cleaning and disinfecting any surface, it is imperative to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  There are four major types of PPE including face shields, gloves, goggles, and gowns. At minimum gloves and eye protection should be used before cleaning any potentially contaminated surface.

Certain cleaning utensils like steel wool or other steel brushes are too abrasive for stainless steel.  These types of tools can contain iron particles.  When used to clean stainless steel, they can leave metal particles on the surface and lead to rust formation.  A soft cloth, gentle brushes, or sponges are much better alternatives.

The Cleaning Process

To effectively sanitize a stainless steel surface, it is recommended to begin by using hot soap and water. Using your towel, you can then begin to use any additional cleaning solutions.  Always rub in the direction of the steel grain for maximum effectiveness and to avoid scratching the surface.

After all disinfectants are applied, rinse the surface thoroughly with fresh, warm water.  Always remember to completely wipe the surface dry. This process should be repeated after every disinfecting operation.  As always – and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – frequent cleaning is strongly recommended.

Lakeside Manufacturing is committed to supporting medical facilities with rapid manufacturing and lead times.  Our facility remains open and operational under the essential business provisions granted by local and federal guidelines. Lakeside is prepared to support increased demand of stainless steel products and remains dedicated to providing quality healthcare solutions.  For more information about the stainless steel carts we have available, please review our Healthcare Catalog.

Lakeside Has You Covered

 

Check out our COVID-19 resources page and product solutions pages for helpful, informative, and up to date information relevant to the pandemic in real time.

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Patients Eat With Their Eyes First

How a food looks tell the patient a lot about the food and the foodservice team accountability and experience. People use the way a food looks to judge the food for freshness and quality. When the food is visually appealing to a patient, you accomplish your mission of providing nourishment for the recovery and healing of your patients.

COLOR, SHAPE, SIZE AND POSITION OF FOOD MATTERS IN VISUAL APPEAL

COLOR: The most impactful eye appeal

  • Break up the colors
  • Enhance the colors
  • Make it “glisten”
  • Keep the colors natural

SHAPE: Ingredients

  • Vary the cuts of ingredients
  • Add textures to the dish

STYLE: Arranging ingredients, plating

  • Traditional – The Y style of plating
  • Modern plating
  • Simplicity

Aroma Strategies:

  • Include variety
  • Add flavor to comfort food
  • Herbs add color, taste and smell
  • Cooking techniques can enhance aroma and experience
  • Be aware of visual placement on the tray, temperature awareness, less is more, easy to handle and maneuver on tray space

For more on this topic, click here to watch Alluserv's last webinar!

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Milliseconds and Millimeters Matter

Ergonomics is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely — also called biotechnology, human engineering, or human factors. Ergonomics affects all ages, all professions and all aspects of daily living.


Human Factors

Consider these conditions/requirements when evaluating equipment:

The goal is to monitor all work activities that permit the worker to adopt several different, but equally healthy and safe postures. Identify where muscular force has to be exerted, localize it to the largest appropriate muscle groups available. Where motion is performed, target the joints at about mid-point of their range of movement, particularly for the head, trunk, and upper limbs.


Lost or Found $$$

When making a decision to select equipment, one key objective is; get most done in the shortest amount of time in the most efficient manner. There are many nuances that may attribute to a lower price for a piece of equipment however, these attributes may in fact result in a higher Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Will this specific product increase or decrease:

  • Productivity
  • FTE's
  • Injuries/Call Offs
  • Errors/Mistakes
  • Cleaning Times
  • Maintenance

If any result in an increase, “Houston, we may have a problem.”


Time is money! Distance is time!

If the equipment happens to be “X” millimeters wider/longer/taller/shorter, and, this results in an increase or decrease by “Y” milliseconds to complete a task, what is that cost or gain to the operation?

Although a few mm or ms may appear insignificant initially, an increase, positive or negative, by example, reduce or add 400 milliseconds to complete a task (the time it takes to blink), repeated say, 1,000 times per meal period, that’s 400k milliseconds for the meal period, about 6.7 minutes. 6.7 minutes, no big deal, right? Then, multiply this by three meal periods and that’s 20 minutes per day. Still not a lot of time but you could get quite a bit done with 20 minutes of “found time” each day.

Let’s take this example a bit further. 20 minutes a day translates to 7,300 minutes per year, 122 hours. Over a seven year life-span for the piece of equipment, that totals 850 hours +/-. If the average wage is $15/hr, that’s $12,750. You can add or subtract this from your TCO to help make your decision.

Considering this one example, multiplied by each work station, for multiple tasks per station, and suddenly, you have good reason to look very closely into the ergonomic impact of every piece of equipment.

Use these findings to reduce FTE’s or repurpose work assignments. Either way, you have a “win.”


By The Way

Also, imagine if you could reduce one call-off per year per FTE due to reduction in back injuries, that’s another 56 hours added to your bottom line.

How about one less “call back tray or courtesy tray” per meal period? … that’s $15/day, $450/month, $5,475/year in direct cost savings.


Help

There are solutions, the Alexander Technique, a training program to help individuals to better understand how their bodies react to work/stress and how to avoid habits that negatively impact their well-being.

The right meal assembly set up can reduce minutes and increase time to get meals to patients. Modifiable equipment that works with your people. No one size fits all. Alluserv’s is ready to help! Modifiable tray starter stations, heights and widths for meal delivery carts, tray lines, etc...

http://www.alluserv.com/ContactUs/ContactUs.aspx

Browse our solutions.