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Second Opinions > Reusable vs. Disposable Textiles

Reusable vs. Disposable Textiles

Do you think reusable gowns and drapes are more or less cost-effective than disposables?

How would you do a cost-benefit analysis of reusable vs. disposable textiles for the OR -- what factors would you have to take into account?

If your facility has switched from disposable to reusable, what was the reasoning?

Started by: Irene Tsikitas (Other) at March 7, 2011 (11:28 am)

Comments and Responses

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We have a mix of both. Most Docs don't like reusable drapes because they just don't stay in place without towel clips etc but a few only use them. Some staff and Docs like the reusable gowns, but most who use them only do so because they have a reaction to the disposible gowns. As far as costs go, this is hard to get an exact number, but the more we can keep out of landfills, the better our staff feel. Reusable towels are the easy part. We have volunteers who fold towels and love the busy work. It is also a job that staff can do rather than hide in the back room when their rooms are done. We do rewash the disposible towels, but they get recycled for housekeeping and maint. dept. I would pay a little more to use reusables if it will keep less from going to the landfill

Mark B. (OR Manager/Supervisor) at May 12, 2011 (9:13 pm)

We have a mix of both. Most Docs don't like reusable drapes because they just don't stay in place without towel clips etc but a few only use them. Some staff and Docs like the reusable gowns, but most who use them only do so because they have a reaction to the disposible gowns. As far as costs go, this is hard to get an exact number, but the more we can keep out of landfills, the better our staff feel. Reusable towels are the easy part. We have volunteers who fold towels and love the busy work. It is also a job that staff can do rather than hide in the back room when their rooms are done. We do rewash the disposible towels, but they get recycled for housekeeping and maint. dept. I would pay a little more to use reusables if it will send less to the landfill

Mark B. (OR Manager/Supervisor) at May 12, 2011 (9:12 pm) [last edited on May 12, 2011 (9:13 pm)]

Two years ago, we looked at different cost savings ideas. One idea was converting from disposable isolation gowns to reusable isolation gowns. We have saved at least $150,000 per year. We average 50-55 isolation cases per day. Each time someone went into the room they would use a gown. Each case average 15-20 gowns per day which includes any visitors. I did a cost savings analysis which I am ready to update (we are running more cases). If interested, respond to this with your e-mail and I will send you my analysis.

Alfred S. (Other) at May 11, 2011 (7:55 am)

We use a combination. Disposable for all drapes and gowns, reusable towels. We launder and sterilize our own towels which really helps cut costs. Can't get anyone to use cloth gowns though because of the heat factor.

Sherry B. (OR Manager/Supervisor) at April 26, 2011 (9:02 am)

Currently we use reusable gowns and drapes and towels. We use disposables for specialties such as(chest/breast sheets). We are trying to be a 'green' center and avoid filling up landfills with all disposable items and our costs are slightly lower than disposables.

Lorraine G. (Administrator/Director/Manager/Owner/Executive Officer) at March 21, 2011 (1:41 pm)

we use a combination of disposable drapes, except for the towels to square off the incision. If you receive your reusable towels from an out source, which company supplies the towels? We are evaluating reusable towels. Thanks

C. Luthin (Other) at March 14, 2011 (12:25 pm) [last edited on March 14, 2011 (12:26 pm)]

we use disposable drape sheets but use reusable towels to square off the op site and for positioning.
The linen is outsourced and brought in for sterilization. The reusable///disposable balance has kept cost down as well as satisfying tradition.

Linn Scherer (Other) at March 8, 2011 (4:32 pm)

We use a combination of reusables and disposable.
All draping except towels are disposable.
Gowns are a combination....we have disposable XL and XXL disposable for some surgeons who require them or prefer them since they are cooler or because of the specific case.

Lorraine M. (Other) at March 8, 2011 (4:29 pm)

We use all disposable. When you factor in the cost of laundering, storage, and infection control issues, disposable is less expensive.

Bill Judge (Administrator/Director/Manager/Owner/Exec. Officer) at March 8, 2011 (3:30 pm)

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