Posted on 6 Comments

2020 Year in Review: Healthcare Foodservice

Healthcare Foodservice 2020 Year in Review

Here are the highlights of our healthcare foodservice blogs from this year.

In the face of a global pandemic, we saw healthcare systems pushed to their limits. As we adapted to this new environment in 2020, we saw a change in how healthcare foodservice is handled, from delivery to sanitation to everything in between. Not only were these new solutions designed to keep patients safe, but healthcare staff safe as well.

Here are the highlights of what we saw transpire in healthcare foodservice this year:

Continue reading 2020 Year in Review: Healthcare Foodservice

Posted on 7 Comments

2020 Year in Review: Senior Care Foodservice

Here are the highlights of our senior care foodservice blogs from this year.

Senior care facilities were put on high alert early on during the Coronavirus pandemic. With residents at a higher risk than most, it has been vital for senior care staff to continue to deliver necessary foodservice safely. Meal delivery during COVID-19 has never been as important, and with the right tools, it was being done in a safe, effective manner. The changes we saw over the course of 2020 will no doubt impact how senior care foodservice is handled as we embark on the new year.

Here are the biggest takeaways of the significant changes we witnessed in senior care foodservice in 2020.

Continue reading 2020 Year in Review: Senior Care Foodservice

Posted on 4 Comments

How Versatile Equipment Can Help Tackle COVID-19

Hospital Administrators are always looking for ways to save money, and one of the best ways to do so is to invest in versatile and durable products for daily use in their facilities. Lakeside manufactures a wide variety of essential healthcare equipment that is multi-functional and designed with durability at the top of mind. The coronavirus pandemic has made it even clearer how important it is to have equipment that is versatile, and Lakeside is able to ship these models out very quickly to allow your facility to adapt to the new challenges it may be faced with during this time of extra strain on the healthcare industry.

Here are some products that are sure to improve your hospital’s flexibility and be reliable for years to come.

Compact Preciso Medical Cart

Description:

The Compact Preciso Medical Cart is a lightweight and versatile multi-purpose medical cart with a small footprint which makes it super easy to maneuver, even in tight spaces. The flexible design of this model means that it can be used to transport all sorts of medical supplies including PPE or anything else that needs to be dispersed all throughout facilities. This cart also comes with a key locking system to secure valuables and other important supplies, as well as a molded ABS plastic top and base to ensure easy sanitization, another key factor in dealing with COVIDThe back and side walls of the Compact Preciso Medical Cart are reinforced with aluminum and polyethylene making it very durable, and the quiet 4” casters guarantee this product will be reliable for years.  

Key Features:

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Capable of transporting a wide variety of medical equipment
  • Locking system to secure valuables
  • Easy sanitization with ABS plastic top
  • Highly durable materials that increase lifetime of the cart
  • Comes in yellow, red, blue & white but white is sure to be a versatile look for long term use

Why is this a key COVID-19 product?

The Compact Preciso Medical Cart is highly versatile and flexible.  Not only will it greatly aid facilities in getting through COVID times, but will prove its value even beyond the pandemic era.

311 Utility Cart

Description:

The 311 Utility Cart is Lakeside’s very first and best-selling product. Facilities have relied on the 311 for over 70 years, and there’s a good reason why. This utility cart can be used for many different applications and transport anything from medical instruments, supplies, ventilators, scales, food and more. The all-welded stainless steel construction provides unmatched strength and durability with a 300 lb. capacity, ensuring that the 311 will be reliable for a long time. The protective bumpers on the legs and handles will make sure that your facility doesn’t sustain any damage while transporting supplies on the 3.5” all-swivel casters. The stainless steel construction also ensures quick and easy sanitization while the sound deadening panels prevent unwanted vibration and noise during transport.  

Key Features: 

  • All-welded Stainless Steel Construction
  • 300 lb. carrying capacity
  • Protective Bumpers
  • Capable of transporting a wide variety of medical supplies and equipment
  • Super durable design ensures reliability for years to come

Why is this a key COVID-19 product? 

The 311 Utility Cart is designed to be very versatile and it's stainless steel construction ensures easy sanitization and reliability during the pandemic and for a long time after we return to normal.

444 Utility Cart

Description:

The 444 Utility Cart is like the big brother to the 311, providing 500 lb. capacity with many of the same features that everyone loves. The 444 is also constructed with stainless steel; one of the strongest and  easiest materials to sanitize. The 5” all swivel, no-mark polyurethane casters make the utility cart very maneuverable for its size, providing easy transport of essential supplies, such as ventilators, around a facility. This utility cart is super versatile and can help a facility overcome many difficulties that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic.

Key Features:

  • All-welded stainless steel construction
  • Capable of transporting a wide variety of medical equipment up to 500 lb. at a time
  • Super durable design ensures reliability for many years
  • Protective Bumpers
  • 5" all swivel, no-mark casters

Why is this a key COVID-19 product?

The 444 Utility Cart is extremely versatile and can transport all sorts of medical equipment on its sturdy 5" all swivel, no-mark casters. The 444 will prove it's worth with the extra challenges presented by COVID-19 and will become a reliable transport solution for facilities once they return to normal day-to-day operations.

356 Compact Utility Stand

Description:

This 300 lb. capacity utility stand is super multi-purpose and is used for many different application within a facility. The compact design makes the stand very easy to maneuver around a facility and deliver supplies that are needed in different areas. The 356 can also be set up in patient rooms or wherever extra storage space may be needed and the top of can function as an additional work surface improving its versatility. The stainless steel construction ensures great durability and the sturdy 3.5” all swivel casters allow for daily use with little to no signs of wear. If necessary, fitted locks are available for the drawer to provide a secure space to hold valuable supplies or other important items.

Key Features:

  • Stainless steel construction provides easy sanitization and durability
  • Compact design improves maneuverability
  • Adds both storage space and work surface
  • Locking system is available to secure valuables

Why is this a key COVID-19 product?

The 356 Utility Stand can add value in many different ways because of its great versatility. Its compact design provides facilities with the ability to utilize this product however they see fit, and allows them to maneuver it even in tight spaces. This product will come in very handy in facilities that have to be flexible in how they treat COVID-19 patients.

474 Utility Stand

Description:

The 474 is a larger version of the 356 Compact Utility Stand, with a 500 lb. capacity, two drawers, and double width. The stainless steel construction guarantees ultimate durability and makes the stand simple to clean after use. The 4” all swivel casters help make the larger stand maneuverable and easy to place in any location for short or long durations of time. The large top provides ample work surface area while the two drawers create lots of secure space to store valuable supplies. This utility stand is a versatile mobile solution creating additional storage and work space wherever a facility may need it.

Key Features:

  • 500 lb. carrying capacity allows for transport and storage of large quantities of equipment
  • Double width design provides ample work surface and storage space
  • Two drawers provide plenty of space to store valuables
  • Stainless Steel construction ensures easy sanitization and durability

Why is this a key COVID-19 product?

The 474 Utility Stand is a great solution for facilities that need extra storage and work surface space in rooms that have been redesigned to treat COVID-19 patients. The super durable stainless steel construction ensures simple sanitization procedures and that the 474 will be reliable for many years after the pandemic.

2523P Utility Cart

Description:

This 500 lb. capacity Plastic Utility Cart is super durable and able to transport supplies wherever they are needed. Its two-shelf deep well design ensures that your supplies will be secure and not fall out during transport. The shelves are precision molded from sturdy structural foam plastic to provide strength and dent resistance. This utility cart is built on top of rugged 8” pneumatic tires which allows you to maneuver through tough terrain, and within a facility. This model is an ideal solution for field hospitals or COVID tents as it is extremely durable and can transport essential supplies outside when you facility needs to. The 2523P is super reliable and its sturdy design with reinforced angle legs make it retain its quality over many years.

Key Features:

  • 500 lb. carrying capacity allows for transport and storage of large quantities of equipment
  • Deep well design ensures supplies won't fall out during transport
  • Precision molded structural foam plastic construction ensures reliability for years to come
  • Rugged 8" pneumatic tires ensure that this cart can transport supplies anywhere they are needed inside or outside

Why is this a key COVID-19 product?

The 2523P Utility Cart is the perfect solution for facilities that have set up COVID tents or field hospitals and need to transport medical supplies over uneven terrain. The durable design also provides dent-resistance and ensures that your facility can rely on this product for years to come.

COVID-19 has changed the way we look at the healthcare industry and has challenged the status quo in many ways. With hospitals having to adapt to new challenges from a pandemic, their equipment and methods have to change as well. Having versatile equipment is extremely advantageous for hospitals that are fighting against the pandemic and operating in ways they didn’t originally plan on. Equipment like medical carts and utility stands greatly improve a facility’s ability to change their layout to better protect patients, and to deliver essential supplies such as PPE all around the facility, or even to outside locations like COVID tents. Hospitals must be able to be flexible amidst the pandemic, and Lakeside manufactures tons of versatile medical equipment that can be shipped rapidly to help our healthcare facilities take on COVID, and provide patients the care that they need.

 

Posted on 25 Comments

Did Someone Order Delivery? In-Room Service Gains Traction

In-Room Service Gains Traction Amongst Hospitals & Care Facilities Across The Country

The limitations and closures of gathering points in hospitals due to COVID-19 have impacted in-room service. However, special attention to in-room service was gaining traction well before the pandemic began. Doctors have always said food can be more than fuel for your body, and with the right nutrients, it can help in the healing process too. Some hospitals are using that concept, as well as patient experience, to change the stereotypes of hospital food for the better and improve patient satisfaction.  Let’s take a look at three healthcare facilities in particular that have started to take a more hospitality-inspired approach to in-room service.

UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM

Open 6:45 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., UCLA offers a restaurant ordering system where the kitchen cooks meals on-demand with menus updated to physician requested, plant-based meals with protein optional additions. Regularly scheduled tray service is still available to neuropsychiatry patients, which is why UCLA’s kitchen is separated into two sections to cater to both types of services.

Keeping in mind there is a 90-minute window between mealtimes, UCLA staff alternates between making and sending 25 trays to 1 unit in neuropsychiatric care and cooking and delivering room service tickets. This staggered approach has eliminated many challenges associated with offering both services.

Room service at UCLA is promised to arrive within 45 minutes but averages 28 minutes. What’s their secret? Food lifts.

Each floor has a dedicated cart with a timer for seven minutes. The cart is wheeled into the lift,  sent up to its designated floor, and the patient is immediately notified. To ensure quality, the cart enters into a pantry where hot and cold additions are added just before being taken to the patient, and the meal is delivered with food and drinks at the correct temperatures.

JOHNS HOPKINS HEALTH SYSTEM

John Hopkins offers Hotel-style, on-demand room service to their patients. They name this style of service the Johns Hopkins At Your Request program. Doctors realized there was a lot of food waste when they had patients ordering the day before, resulting in many being unavailable to receive their meals.

The John Hopkins At You Request program gives patients the flexibility to order their meals anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and receive it within 60 minutes. To better accommodate nutritional diets prescribed to patients, John Hopkins also provides a nutritional department to help assist in meal decisions. Their diverse menu options are a significant factor in the success of the program.

The freedom to choose between traditional hospital foods like meatloaf and upscale items like salmon makes the patient feel satisfied with their meal experience, even when they don’t order the extravagant items. In fact, the majority stick with the traditional items, while the occasional upscale orders bring comfort to patients and family members who need it.

ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

St. Jude’s primary focus is on young patients and their families. Patients aren’t limited to in-hospital care, as many of their outpatients go through treatment at nearby housing sponsored by St. Jude and receive their customized meals there. They use a Combi Oven to deliver quality food within expectations of 30 – 45 minutes. As for their future plans for servie? They’re expected to upgrade their systems to TV-operated ordering services and explore newer cooking technologies. Nonetheless, their specialty is in the services they provide.

Considering the age of their patients, their happiness is a priority. The chef often greets patients with a hug and smile, with meals that are fully specialized to encourage the patient to eat and heal. So much so, that patients have even gone to the kitchen to teach the chefs how to make their food!

Posted on 10 Comments

The Impacts of Robotics in Health Care

Healthcare Robotics- Lakeside

In today’s environment, the healthcare industry has leaned heavily on technological advancements, particularly through the use of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Like many other industries, healthcare is impacted by a diverse group of factors. From the rising cost of coverage to meeting the challenges associated with labor shortages in the field, things are constantly changing. In order to deal with the reality of this landscape, the healthcare industry has leaned heavily on the technological advancements of today, particularly through the use of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Twenty-first-century healthcare has improved through these advancements, tapping into the potential of delivering quality care like never before. In a field that is overworked and in many cases understaffed, see how these new technologies are improving hospitals and care facilities all over the world. 

Robots Allow Clinicians More Time With Patients

A common misconception out there is that robotic technology and artificial intelligence will replace the healthcare labor force. This simply is not true. The job of these technologies is to complement clinicians’ skill sets, reduce workload, and free up time for healthcare professionals to carry out tasks and activities that will have a greater impact on patient care. Instead of carrying out administrative or repetitive tasks, clinicians can leave some of those responsibilities to robots, and focus on the aspect of their job that matters most: caring for their patients.

On average, primary care physicians work 11.2 hours per day. Nearly six of those work hours are spent interacting with electronic health data and records. There simply is too much data for one person or even a team of doctors to consume and analyze. With the help of robotic technology, and more specifically, AI systems, machines can scan thousands of records and cases in an instant, picking out correlations and patterns that can help treat patients with stunning accuracy. In a profession where time is of the essence, robots and AI can make amazing contributions with both speed and accuracy, allowing for longer, and more dedicated one-on-one care for doctors to have with their patients.

Covering Common Procedures

In most healthcare facilities, there are standard procedures that must be administered regularly to patients. Drawing blood, checking blood pressure, and administering shots are procedures that should be achieved regularly and with the same attention to detail. For these tasks, robots could prove to be quite an asset.

A recent study published by the journal Technology revealed some pretty remarkable findings. In the study, a robot device was successful at administering blood 87 percent of the time on the 31 participants in the trial. In previous studies, health care professionals recorded only a 73 percent success rate of patients with visible veins, while the robot device was successful 97 percent of the time. Utilizing robotic technology for these practices would guarantee that they were performed properly each time and save precious time for medical staff.

Improved Accuracy

In an industry where accuracy is critical and often the difference in life or death, developing technology that boosts accuracy to the next level is critical. In order to provide accurate diagnosis and treatments for patients, all data collected must be accurate. With robotics, administrative and recurring clinical duties, such as monitoring patient vitals or inputting patient data, will be achieved with remarkable efficiency.

The precision found in these robotics is unmatched by the human hand and potential errors that can happen. Take the Da Vinci surgical robot for instance. This amazing device has completed well over 6 million surgeries worldwide and equips surgeons with the ability to perform minimally invasive surgery with astounding accuracy. In addition, studies have shown that surgeries with this robot have resulted in far fewer complications following operations. With the help of robotics, surgeons will benefit from these devices greatly. By delivering small, precise incisions, robots provide immense value, allowing surgeons to not worry about possible human error such as fatigue or lack of range of motion.

Implementation Across The Entire Healthcare Landscape

Globally, Robot technology in healthcare facilities has ramped up because their benefits are too good to ignore. Not only do they allow for improved patient care, but they also impact cost savings and waste reduction, to name a few perks.

Throughout the United States, Automated Pharmacies that utilize robotic technologies are becoming extremely popular. Robots can update records sent from the hospital, label, package, store and fill prescriptions with ease and undeniable accuracy. Again, this allows pharmacists to free up time to educate themselves on medications and provide valuable insight and consultation for patients.

One of the rising trends in healthcare is telemedicine. With a shortage of health care professionals and the unavailability of specialized care in some remote locations, robotics provide a real solution to this issue. Complete with full audio, video, and camera capabilities, these telerobots provide timely communication, data tracking and enable clinicians the ability to remotely log in and speak with a patient.

Looking Ahead

There’s no denying, robotics and AI technology are rapidly changing the healthcare industry. Because of the many benefits related to cost, accuracy, and accessibility, care facilities are catching on and adopting these remarkable assets into their everyday operation. From surgical assistant robots to machines who carry out non-patient facing tasks like stocking and cleaning, these technologies are improving healthcare by leaps and bounds.

Posted on 13 Comments

Telehealth: COVID Trend or the Healthcare of the Future?

Telehealth has been a growing trend over the past 5 years, and the coronavirus pandemic has rapidly accelerated its use, but will telemedicine and Telehealth continue to grow, or will it die out with the pandemic?

First, let’s define Telehealth and Telemedicine, what do the terms really mean?

  • Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies to access healthcare services remotely and manage health care. Telehealth can refer to many different things including health education services, remote monitoring of vital signs, and other remote clinical and non-clinical services.
  • Telemedicine is a much more focused term which refers specifically to remote clinical care between a patient and a doctor.

The idea of telemedicine has been around for a long time, but its potential is only just beginning to be realized. Physician use of telemedicine has been growing over the past few years, in fact its use rose 340% between 2015 and 2018, with about 22% of doctors using telemedicine in 2018 compared to just 5% in 2015. The big jump in telemedicine services is due to patient demand, as a 2017 survey found that 77% of patients would see a physician virtually.

Patients can use Telehealth services in different ways and for different issues. In 2016, the top diagnostic category for Telehealth was mental health which accounted for 31% of all claims, but the category fell in 2017 to only account for 7% of claims. Other categories rose to fill in this gap in 2017 with injuries or digestive system issues making up 13% of all Telehealth diagnoses.

How is Telehealth changing and helping doctors treat their patients? Here are a few trends that we are seeing.

Telemedicine is starting to be covered by more insurers

As telemedicine has exploded in recent months, more insurance companies as well as government programs are covering it, making it easier for patients to get the care they need. In fact, when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck America, the Trump Administration “Took bold and rapid action to dramatically expand services that can be provided via telehealth and make it far more convenient for patients and providers”, according to Alex M. Azar, the HHS secretary. As the entire healthcare landscape changed with the pandemic, the government and insurance companies are working to make it easier for everyone to receive the care that they need without having to risk their own or others health. In February of 2020, less than 1% of Medicare primary care visits were done via telemedicine, and as that number rocketed up to 43.5% in April, the government took the necessary action to facilitate this change.

There are till obstacles to fully utilize telemedicine

Although telemedicine has been a great solution to provide care during a highly contagious pandemic, it is not yet perfect and some doctors are still hesitant to fully embrace it. In 2018, a survey found that 90% of physicians viewed virtual care positively, but only 14% had the video capabilities at that time. Additionally, many patients that would greatly benefit from telemedicine do not have the technology to utilize it. Another obstacle that doctors must overcome is simply how new telemedicine is. Many older doctors who are great at their jobs and providing in-person care, do not get the training or knowledge they need about telemedicine to be able to accept it in practice.

It's all about mHealth

The use of mobile devices as a way to administer Telehealth services is called mHealth, and it is a growing trend. Using mobile devices is convenient and easy for many patients as a way to get the care they need and communicate with physicians. Many apps have been developed to help with mHealth, and many more are being developed to help find the right way for patients to be treated virtually. As most people own a smart phone device, mHealth is expected to continue gaining momentum and become one of the most common forms of Telehealth in the future.

Medical students are getting better telemedicine training than in the past

Technology is constantly evolving and improving, especially in the healthcare industry, so future doctors are learning about new technologies and how they will be able to use them to help treat their patients. Some older doctors that have used their tried and true strategies to care for patients are less inclined to adopt new technologies when they have already been able to treat certain conditions. However, many younger doctors are much more open to utilize new technologies in their practices because they have grown up in a more digital world. With the next generation of doctors getting better training and education about Telehealth, it is likely that over the next few years, the use of Telehealth will continue to rise and will be used in more ways.

Artificial intelligence is gaining traction in the healthcare industry

Artificial intelligence something that has the potential to completely change the world, but for now, it is starting to be accepted by physicians as a tool to help treat patients more effectively. Specifically for telemedicine, there are many different ways that A.I. would be able to enhance the patient experience, and make it easier for a doctor to make a correct diagnosis. Some people in the industry are worried that A.I. could take over the need for a physician and take their job, but in reality it should be looked at as a tool to make their jobs easier. There will always be a need for doctors as the human interaction plays a big role in helping patients feel comfortable and safe during their visit.

Is Telehealth here to stay?

Telehealth has been extremely useful for helping patients receive care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and had been trending upwards even before coronavirus hit. We are only just starting to see all of the possibilities that Telehealth presents, and with the government and other insurers adding extra coverage for it, we should expect to continue to see its growth. Telehealth will not die out when the pandemic ends, and maybe the next time you need to visit a doctor, you’ll simply have to open an app on your phone.

Posted on 5 Comments

How has COVID-19 Impacted Healthcare Facility Design?

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed some major flaws in our healthcare system as hospitals and other facilities struggled to provide space for the large influx of patients needing care. Due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, hospitals weren’t able to take in all coronavirus patients because of fear of transmission to healthcare professionals and patients with other symptoms. Modern healthcare facilities need an ability to adapt and be flexible to care for an increased number of patients in the face of a pandemic or other disastrous event, and this is the expected trend with healthcare facility design moving forward even into the post-covid era.

It’s an ever-changing climate of healthcare that we are living in, and nobody is certain what the future of healthcare design will look like, but there are some trends which are expected to be seen in hospital design soon.  

One of the biggest issues with hospitals today is the crowding of certain areas such as waiting rooms and entryways. Coronavirus has heightened everybody’s awareness of the importance of social distancing practices, so how can hospitals adapt to decrease the risk of virus transmission inside of their facilities?  

#1 Virtual Check-ins

Virtual check-ins will create less crowding in the waiting rooms, and simplify the process of going to a healthcare facility. By allowing patients to check in and provide all the necessary information about themselves from their phone or computer, it eliminates the need for them to come into the facility and wait for a doctor to be ready to see them.

This means that patients would be able to wait in the comfort of their own car and not have to worry about being in close proximity to other sick patients who could potentially infect them. Virtual check-ins will greatly improve the ability for healthcare facilities to effectively social distance in their waiting rooms.  

#2 Manage Patient, Staff, and Supply Flow

Hospitals can be confusing and difficult to navigate for first time or non-frequent visitors, so improving patient flow is important to reduce risk of transmission. Better patient and staff flow can be achieved by a few different methods, but the most important factor is communicating to patients and staff what certain areas are designed for.  

  • Widening hallways and walking areas to allow for a two-way flow with a sufficient amount of prevent spread.  
  • Designating certain hallways and one-way walking areas to prevent the crowding of these spaces. 
  • Designating one area as the entrance and another as the exit to minimize the exposure of patients to one another.  
  • Designing certain areas of the facility to be safe zones or hot zones in order to keep contagious patients away from non-contagious ones.

#3 Designing Flexible Facilities with the Ability to Adapt

Hospitals are built in order to be cost-efficient and effective at providing care to patients, but hospital administrators may need to spend some more money in order to be able to adapt in the future. For example, most hospital entryways are not designed to provide screening and separate out potentially contagious patients. A trend that we are seeing with new hospital designs is to create dynamic entrances that create a space for screening and providing appropriate equipment for patients. This includes providing PPE to patients right when they come into the building, as well as placing hand sanitizer dispensers or hand washing stations such as the Lakeside Portable Handwashing Station near the entries. This would help reduce patients anxiety about going to a hospital for the care that they need, which has been reported to be increasing over the past several months.  

Another way in which hospitals will likely be able to treat an influx in patients is with a flexible design of patient rooms. Basic patient rooms are a stable in all hospitals, but the facilities that were best able to treat a large increase in patients were the ones that adapted these patient rooms to be able to serve as an ICU or emergency care area. One of the best ways that hospitals were able to do this is with portable storage mainly in the form of carts. Utility carts are a great solution for hospitals to store their PPE or other important equipment, while other specialty carts and treatment carts are great ways for a healthcare facilities to adapt their spaces and treat patients in rooms that they do not normally have special equipment. Lakeside manufactures a large variety of carts to allow hospitals to be flexible in the face of adversity, and adapt to keep giving patients the best care that they can. 

#4 Telemedicine and Virtual Health

One of the bright spots that has come from the coronavirus pandemic is the emergence of telemedicine and virtual healthcare, which completely mitigates the risk of transmission of exposure to other HAIs. We are just at the start of the virtual health age, and are only beginning to see the possibilities that this advancement provides. Although telehealth is a great way to eliminate the chance of transmission and reduce the use of essential equipment, it is not perfect and certainly has its flaws, which means that healthcare facilities should begin to implement it when possible, but should still plan for flexibility in the face of a crisis.  

#5 Improved Cleaning Techniques and Space Management

Keeping equipment and surfaces clean has always been a very important part of healthcare facilities, but coronavirus has proved that some of these cleaning protocols need to be improved. One way to do this is by designating certain rooms to be used and others to be cleaned. For example, a hospital may designate a certain wing for all infectious patients, providing them with extra time to disinfect another wing while still treating patients, and then switch the halls when all patients have been treated. This would allow hospitals the time they need to properly clean an infected room, while not falling behind on treating their patients.  

Another way to improve the cleaning process would be to implement anti-microbial surfaces such as stainless steel or copper, although this could cause the hospitals to see an increase in costs. However, mitigating patients anxiety about going to a hospital is very important in order to ensure that everyone can get the care and treatment that they need without having to worry about leaving worse off than when they arrived.  

Flexible Design Is More Valuable Than Ever

Healthcare facilities need to constantly adapt with new challenges that they are presented with, and don’t expect this to stop anytime soon. The ongoing pandemic has only accelerated the trend of flexible hospital design, and in the future you should certainly expect a different experience when you go to the hospital. 

Lakeside Manufacturing understands the difficulties that healthcare facilities face, and as a supplier to the industry, we continue to manufacture state-of-the-art equipment to allow hospitals and clinics to quickly adapt to the environment and give their patients the best possible experience in receiving the care that they need.  

Posted on Leave a comment

Your Guide to Mobile Handwashing Stations

importance of hand washing

Handwashing on the go has become pivotal, We've created a guide for the best use cases and set-up for your operations.

We’re living in an era of increased importance when it comes to sanitation. According to the Center for Disease Control, we know the coronavirus and the subsequent COVID-19 disease it causes is spread mainly through people-to-people contact. This means people who are within six feet of one another are at risk of transmitting the virus. Because it’s transferred through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, it’s also critical that we wash our hands. Continue reading Your Guide to Mobile Handwashing Stations

Posted on Leave a comment

The Future of Healthcare Foodservice in the COVID Era

Hospital Cafiteria

Hospital and healthcare dining have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

To summarize the situation, the most profitable types of foodservice delivery have been limited, and higher patient censuses cannot make up for the difference.

Let’s take a closer look at the details.

In hospitals and in-patient healthcare facilities, the majority of the foodservice profits are made from staff dining and from visitors. When you factor in more and more staff members working from home and you eliminate the ability for many to visit patients because of the potential risks of the coronavirus, those central profit points are also eliminated.

These are certainly tough statistics, but the reality is healthcare operators are experiencing far less volatility than other types of foodservice operators. According to Datassential, only six percent of healthcare operators are completely closed during the pandemic.

What can we expect in the coming year for healthcare foodservice?

There are several changes that are here and will likely not change in the near future. With a focus on minimal contact, technology will play a key role in not just food ordering and delivery, but also in food production. Robotics will become more popular in a contact-less environment, as will sustainably packing for individually wrapped foods.

Along those same lines, buffets and self-serve options will become all but obsolete as we navigate COVID-19 conditions. As we’ve already seen this year, a complete rethinking of foodservice delivery methods will continue into 2021. With so much uncertainty, it will also be critical for foodservice directors to shore up their supply chains.

Here are some additional points to consider in late 2020 and early 2021 as it pertains to hospital foodservice operations.

HIGHER SPENDING ON DISPOSABLES

Current conditions have caused the cost of disposables to increase to a range of between $4,000 and $12,000 per month depending on the size of the community. This is caused across the entire spectrum of foodservice operation types. In restaurants, as full service dining starts to pick back up in many locations, some are considering a surcharge to cover the costs of disposables.

STAFFING COSTS ON THE RISE

In many cases, healthcare dining often translates to a self-serve environment. Today, operators are considering staffing options to eliminate the self-serve nature of these service types. More staff costs more money, of course. And so does all the time it takes to implement additional precautions to limit the spread of the virus.

THE GAMUT OF CHALLENGES

Foodservice directors in hospitals, in-patient healthcare facilities, and in long-term senior care communities are all facing some of the same challenges – maintaining safe distances in kitchens and dining facilities, increasing staff morale and safety, ensuring food safety along with quality, revenue, and more. The last thing these operations need are issues created by the equipment and supplies used to help solve these very challenges.

WHERE TO START

Interested in how to re-purpose some of your current equipment? Looking for efficient ways to handle meal delivery, sanitation, social distancing, and more? Than check out this inspiration guide for COVID-19 Solutions.

Posted on 8 Comments

Soap and Water or Hand Sanitizer? Which creates better Hand Hygiene?

Washing your hands has always been super important in healthcare facilities in order to prevent Hospital Acquired Illnesses (HAIs) or healthcare-associated infections which affect about 1 in every 31 patients. With the outbreak of COVID-19, it’s even more important for healthcare professionals, and all of us to practice good hand hygiene.

What is good hand hygiene?

Having good hand hygiene means keeping your hands clean as much as possible. The best way to practice proper hand hygiene is to wash your hands with soap and water, or to use hand sanitizer whenever your hands may have come into contact with a dirty surface. Dirty surface doesn’t just mean visibly dirty, as many surfaces that appear to be clean could actually be covered in germs and bacteria. If you’re not sure whether you need to clean your hands, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wash up!

Soap and water or hand sanitizer?

The best ways to clean your hands is by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. While hand sanitizer removes most germs, it does not remove all germs from your hands, and studies show that soap and water are more effective at removing certain types of germs. This is why the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water whenever possible, and using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

When to Wash your Hands

Here are some of the times when the CDC recommends that you wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Before, after, or during any food preparation
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up for a child who has used the bathroom
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After handling pet treats or food
  • After touching a garbage
  • Anytime that your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

When to Use Hand Sanitizer

Here are a couple of instances in which the CDC believes hand sanitizer will work to remove germs and bacteria.

  • Before and after visiting someone who is in a hospital or healthcare facility
  • If soap and water are not readily available

Proper Hand Washing

We’ve all been taught the importance of regular hand washing from a young age, but do you know how to correctly wash your hands? According to the CDC, there are a few steps for the proper hand washing technique.

  1. Wet your hands with warm water
  2. Apply the amount of soap that the manufacturer recommends
  3. Rub your hands together vigorously for at least 15 seconds, making sure cover all parts of your hands with soap
  4. Rinse your hands with more water
  5. Lastly, dry your hands with a paper towel or air dryer, and turn off the faucet with the towel to avoid any lingering germs.

Proper Hand Sanitizing

It seems like it’s obvious how to use hand sanitizer, but not everyone sanitizes their hands correctly.  Here are the steps for correctly sanitizing your hands.

  1. First, you should make sure that you are using a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol in order for it to be effective
  2. Put the amount of product that the manufacturer recommends on your hands and start to rub them together
  3. Continue rubbing your hands together for about 20 seconds until your hands are completely covered and dry
  4. Once your hands are dry, they will be sterile and you should be ready to move on to your next task

 

Hand Hygiene in Hospitals

Even among healthcare professionals, there is a need for better and more thorough hand hygiene training. In fact, a study was done which showed that even before COVID-19 took the world by storm, 40% of healthcare professionals wanted better hand hygiene training. According to the CDC, on average, healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the times that they should which contributes to 1 of every 31 hospital patients contracting a HAI. So even though it may seem obvious that clean hands are super important for healthcare professionals, there is a need for more training and knowledge when it comes to hand hygiene.

When to Wash your Hands in the Hospital

Soap and water are very effective at cleaning your hands and removing pesky germs and bacteria that hand sanitizer will not. Here are a few circumstances when you should make sure to wash your hands when in a healthcare facility.

  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.
    • Hand Sanitizer is not very effective at removing dirt and other germ-filled substances that may build up on your hands. Whenever you can physically see anything on your hands, wash them!
  • After caring for a person who may have infectious diarrhea
    • Diarrhea is caused by difficile, a common HAI that hand sanitizers are not able to get rid of.
  • After a potential exposure to spores
    • Spores are infections caused by bacteria that is resistant to hand sanitizers and require a thorough washing with soap and water to kill the bacteria.

When to use Hand Sanitizer in the Hospital

Although it is always best to wash your hands when possible, here are some instances in which hand sanitizer will do the trick.

  • Immediately before touching a patient
    • Using hand sanitizer before any contact with a patient is always the smart thing to do, even if you have recently washed!
  • Before performing any aseptic tasks
    • Hand hygiene is super important when it comes to any invasive medical devices, and you should make sure that everything, including yourself, is clean and sterile
  • Before moving to work on a clean part of a patient’s body from a soiled point of their body
    • You should frequently be sanitizing when working directly with patients, even if they are the only thing you’ve had contact with!
  • After touching a patient or their immediate environment
    • Always sanitize your hands when you’re done working with a patient, and before you move on to your next tasks
  • After contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces
    • Sanitize after any contact with an un-sterile surface or object, and wash your hands if there is any remnants!
  • Immediately after glove removal
    • You may think that the inside of your gloves are sterile and clean, but sweat can build up inside and cause germs and bacteria to cover your hands.

 

Myths about Hand Hygiene

Myth 1: Frequent Hand Washing dries out your skin

While washing your hands too much can cause the skin on your hands to dry out, it is likely that the reason for this is the water you are using is too hot. Using warm water drastically effects the amount of dryness that can come from hand washing, and will ensure that you are able to keep your hands clean whenever they need to be.

Myth 2: Hand Sanitizer causes antibiotic resistance

Some people claim that hand sanitizers can lead to antibiotic resistance, but this simply isn’t the case. The main cause of antibiotic resistance is repeated improper use of antibiotics according to the CDC.

Myth 3: All germs are the same

This is not accurate, as there are many different types of germs and bacteria that can build on your hands, some of which require soap and water rather than hand sanitizer to be taken care of.

Myth 4: Antibacterial soap reduces the amount of times you need to wash

Antibacterial soap is great for cleaning your hands, but studies show that it isn’t significantly better than normal hand soap. It also does not mean that you have to wash your hands less than you would with normal soap.

Is Hand Sanitizer really more convenient in Hospitals?

The main reason why healthcare facilities use hand sanitizer much more than soap and water is simply because it is much easier to quickly sanitize your hands with a busy schedule, something most healthcare professionals have every day. Sanitizer is easy to carry around with you or to put out for people to use on something like Lakeside’s high-traffic sanitizer dispenser, but that doesn’t mean that washing with soap and water is difficult!

To effectively wash your hands with soap and water, all you need is 30 seconds and a sink. Lakeside has helped to create a solution to one of those parts with the portable handwashing station, which allows you to put a sink with soap and water anywhere in your facility. This product also gives you the ability to move it around to areas that require more intense hand hygiene, and makes it easy to wash your hands with soap and water without a trip to the bathroom.

If time is a big concern in your healthcare facility, make sure to check out Lakeside’s product solutions designed to ensure efficient and proper hand hygiene for all healthcare professionals!