Reduce Employee Exposure Risk to Infectious Diseases Through Controlled Dispensing Solutions for Surgical Scrubs and Uniforms

IDS’ ScrubTrak surgical scrub dispenser provides a seamless transaction experience to allow employees to quickly and safely access surgical scrubs, uniforms and other textiles

Today it is more critical than ever to provide healthcare workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) including proper work attire such as scrubs and lab coats.  In order to access PPE and proper work attire, it is important to have processes in place. These processes protect your employees without compromising the ability to provide life-saving medical treatment to patients. This is especially crucial as medical organizations’ resources are being strained due to the influx in demand related to surging numbers of COVID-19 patients.

In order to protect medical personnel from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, it is important to ensure scrubs and hospital uniforms are being handled by as few people as possible while ensuring these items are being returned and laundered properly. It is impossible to eliminate shoulder-to-shoulder contact within a hospital setting. However, it is possible to limit this contact internally and reduce the handling of critical supplies, including hospital scrubs and lab coats, by limiting contact points.

Why is this so critical?  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifespan of the Coronavirus can vary, based on different surfaces and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to three days. 

  • Airborne: 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Stainless Steel: 2 days
  • Plastic: 3 days  

While the exact number of healthcare professionals afflicted with COVID-19 is unknown, thousands of healthcare workers across the United States have either had COVID-19 or been exposed to it. While healthcare professionals may be at a higher risk to contract COVID-19 due to their interactions with infected individuals, there are proactive measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of healthcare workers contracting infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions provides controlled dispensing solutions that offer a contactless transaction experience, specifically for surgical scrubs lab coats, uniforms, and other textiles through its brand ScrubTrak.  It is a fast, easy and proactive solution for hospital staff and medical professionals to retrieve the clean, uncontaminated scrubs they need in order to perform their jobs. It also allows for contaminated scrubs and other textiles to be returned in a safe and secure location.

In addition to scrubs, uniforms and other textiles being safely retrieved, ScrubTrak provides peace of mind that scrubs are returned and laundered per hospital standards. In order for scrubs to be free of contamination, they must go through an extensive laundering and sterilizing regime with commercial-grade laundering equipment that cannot be accomplished by an at-home washer and dryer. 

Once scrubs have been worn, they are simply checked back in and returned to the ScrubTrak return unit where the transaction is logged and credited back to the employee’s account. This allows you to track your inventory and provides accountability typically resulting in drastic decreases in surgical scrub shrinkage.  In fact, many of ScrubTrak’s customers reduce scrub replacement costs by over 60% in the first year of implementing ScrubTrak.

In an open supply closet setting, when a nurse, lab tech or doctor comes in to retrieve new scrubs, he or she will sift through the items, often shoulder-to-shoulder with other staff members, until he or she finds a correct fitting pair, potentially exposing himself or herself to infectious diseases such as COVID-19. 

ScrubTrak helps to reduce the risk of spread of infectious disease by providing a safe and secure retrieval and return center for scrubs, uniforms, and other textiles. With ScrubTrak, personnel simply have to enter in the scrub sizes they need (top and bottom) and then wait only a few seconds for them to be dispensed. The return process is just as simple. Nurses and doctors simply have to scan their badge and place their used items in the return slot for laundering.

Unlike open scrub supply closets, in which multiple staff members can access scrubs and discard of used ones, controlled dispensing through ScrubTrak’s dispensers require employees to only access the specific scrubs they need, whether it be pants, tops or a specific size of scrubs, as well as the quantity they need. Additionally, staff members must be verified for access before the scrubs are dispensed and the employee is able to touch the item. 

“Human error is inevitable. We were losing scrubs faster than we should have been. We began inquiring about automated systems for managing scrubs,” said Ryan Madewell, the environmental services director for Hunt Regional Healthcare. 

To determine if ScrubTrak was the right solution for Hunt Regional Healthcare, Madewell analyzed the system’s various features including ease of use, approved efficiency, infection prevention and cost savings. “We chose ScrubTrak because it was the best fit,” Madewell said.

IDS’ ScrubTrak utilizes real-time data and reporting capability through its proprietary iQ Technology software. iQ Technology allows administrators to track who accessed what item(s), when they accessed the item(s) and the quantity of the item they accessed. This chain of custody is critical when identifying and mitigating risks in a crisis situation, as well as is useful on an inventory management basis during normal operating circumstances.

Having a solution in place to manage and track inventory reduces a hospital’s risk and also protects your most critical assets – your staff members. It is these individuals that are on the front lines of combating crises such as the global pandemic we are currently facing.

ScrubTrak can help. As you are evaluating and initiating your response plan, we want to help you keep your staff members safe, while providing a solution that ensures accountability in order to reduce scrubs and uniform shrinkage, and laundering costs.

For more information about ScrubTrak’s surgical scrub and uniform dispensing solutions, contact Intelligent Dispensing Solutions at 1-877-771-4446.