DALLAS — Nearly 130 laundry professionals, including more than 50 CEOs and executives representing more than 80% of commercial healthcare-sector laundry production, took part in the Healthcare Conference and CEO/Executive Roundtable hosted here last month by the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA).
The conference and industry-specific roundtable provided a forum for textile services operators serving hospitals, medical centers and nursing homes to share information and discuss the latest trends impacting the healthcare business.
Internationally recognized health futurist and medical economist Jeffrey Bauer began the conference by providing his views on the future of healthcare reform and delivery, opining that healthcare will change more in the next decade than it has in the past 50 years. “To survive, healthcare providers and their supply chain partners must fix how medical service is delivered by focusing on improving efficiency and effectiveness,” he says.
Bauer discussed opportunities specific to textile services, such as direct sales and service to home care patients, reinventing garments based on emerging patient needs, joint ventures with product and service providers, and linking laundry services directly to green initiatives.
His theme of change and adaptation continued throughout the conference with break-out sessions focusing on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), contracting, outsourcing, infection control, linen life and disposables.
The conference closed with panel discussions involving equipment manufacturers and healthcare textile services CEOs. The first panel covered new tunnel washer technology with each manufacturer—G.A. Braun, Ellis Corp., Girbau Industrial, Jensen USA, Kannegiesser USA, Lavatec Laundry Technology and Pellerin Milnor Corp. were represented—highlighting benefits and features of their products specific to the healthcare sector.
The CEO panelists—Dave Van Vliet of Angelica Corp., Randy Bartsch of Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service, Jeff Berstein of ImageFirst Healthcare Laundry Specialists, David Stern of Paris Cos., and Michael Potack of Unitex Textile Rental Services—discussed their views on healthcare sector-related challenges, competition, customers, products and certification.
They emphasized the impact of the consolidation of healthcare providers and group purchasing organizations, the need to quantify the sustainability and cleanliness of commercial laundering, and the importance of investing in machinery and technology to increase productivity and efficiency to meet growing pricing pressures.
TRSA has committed to conducting the Healthcare Conference and CEO/Executive Roundtable annually, with the next event scheduled for next November in Philadelphia.