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05 Aug

Scrub vending machine – Is it right for your healthcare facility?

Is a scrub vending machine right for your healthcare facility?

“Walking a tightrope” - the term used by a laundry in Ohio describing the pros and cons of scrub vending machines being used to manage scrub loss and control.

While some hospitals are all for the use of scrub vending machines to manage their scrub uniforms, there are even more out there who say the cost is too high. When you factor in the cost of the actual scrub vending machine and weigh it against the actual scrub loss without one, the math speaks for itself.

So how do you implement a scrub program that can not only be difficult to manage, but comes with a high price? Several hospitals and laundries I spoke with got creative:

  • May I see your library card, please.  A check-out process is implemented where an actual person checks all of the scrubs used at the healthcare facility in and out.
  • Beam me up to the moon!  Bar code or RFID chips are sewn into the scrubs to track the location whether it is at the laundry or healthcare facility.
  • Let’s go to the gym!  Every employee enters wearing street clothes and changes at healthcare facility and then at the end of the day, they change back into their street clothes before leaving so the scrubs never leave the building.

During my research, these were some common concerns about implementing a scrub vending machine:

  • Size of the machine – The scrub vending machines can be very large so it can be difficult to find a designated location to place the machine that still allowing for easy access.
  • Restocking – Some larger facilities had to restock the machine 3-4 times per day just to keep up with the demand.
  • Latest technology - Comes with a price!  Just like any other piece of technology, it can very complex or simple.  The more bells and whistles you add, the greater chance of performance issues or the machine breaking down.
  • Maintenance – Like with any piece of equipment, regular maintenance needs to be maintained to ensure your investment lasts for a long time

After speaking with many of my customers and doing some research, the consensus appears to be scrub vending machines work better for smaller healthcare facilities versus larger ones.

There is a long way to go in controlling the cost of ownership with scrubs even with all of the various options available.  Definitely do your research before deciding on what method works the best for your healthcare facility because what might work good for someone else might not work good for you!

Would a scrub vending machine work in your healthcare facility?  Why or why not?

Are scrub uniform vending machines cost effective? - Check out this additional blog post on An Apple A Day.

Michael Walker - Territory Sales Manager for Fashion Seal Healthcare

Guest Blogger:  Michael Walker is a Territory Sales Manager at Fashion Seal Healthcare® and has been with the company since 2012.  He has more than seven years of experience in the textile industry and was previously a District Manager for Aramark Uniforms.  During Michael’s career, he has partnered with many hospitals, laundries and long term care facilities to develop uniform programs that speak to the mission statement of each facility.

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