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Laundry 1st in Hospital Departments Being Outsourced

CHICAGO — Laundry services ascended to the top spot among hospital department contracts in 2006, according to the 29th annual Outsourcing Survey produced by our sister publication, Modern Healthcare.
Laundry, housekeeping and clinical/diagnostic equipment maintenance were the top three departments outsourced last year, accounting for a combined 14,229 healthcare clients, up 14.7% from 12,409 reported in 2005.
Laundry rose 11.8% to include 7,635 facilities, while housekeeping increased 12.4% to 4,101. Clinical or diagnostic equipment maintenance rose 29% to 2,493 facilities, jumping from fifth place in 2005 to third last year. Overall, the number of facilities in the list of top 20 departments grew 16.3% to 25,913 from 22,281 in 2005.Modern Healthcare’s survey provides a “nonscientific look at healthcare outsourcing trends as reported by companies that provide on-site management to hospital departments, long-term-care facilities and alternate sites such as clinics and physician-group practices,” according to the story written by Jean DerGurahian.
The top three laundry contractors in 2006, by total number of healthcare facilities, were Angelica Corp. (4,640 contracts, up 8.3%), Healthcare Services Group (2,210 contracts, up 16.7%) and Crothall Services Group (713 contracts, up 23.1%).
The top three housekeeping contractors in 2006, by total number of healthcare facilities, were Healthcare Services Group (2,215 contracts, up 16.7%), ISS (959 contracts, up 10.2%) and Sodexho Health Care Services (530 contracts, up 5.8%).
Among the top 20 outsourced hospital departments, none showed a decline from the previous year, the survey shows. Anesthesia came closest, increasing less than 1% (to 471 from 468).
Outsourcing remains a crucial element to a hospital’s bottom line while organizations continue to demand increasing levels of quality and performance from contractors, DerGurahian writes.

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