Ecolab’s AquaBatch™ and AquaDrain™ Help COMTEX Laundry Protect Patient Safety
Textile Care Case Study
COMTEX (Central Ohio Medical Textiles) Laundry located in Columbus, OH provides high quality, cost effective laundry and linen services to healthcare facilities in Ohio. COMTEX employs a comprehensive sterilization process to ensure textile quality meets hospitals’ standards.
Their sterile pack linen goes directly from the laundry to the operating room (O.R.). Anything that puts the sterility of linen at risk – such as holes, debris, tape, markings, lint or hair – immediately compromises the sterile field in an O.R. and can lead to cancellation of critical medical procedures.
According to Myles Noel, CEO of COMTEX, “You cannot jeopardize an entire service with one piece of lint. One sterile pack with a hair in it compromises a sterile field and greatly compromises the reliability and security of the [quality assurance] system. The world has become a very complex and dangerous place, particularly for at-risk patients."
“You cannot jeopardize an entire service with one piece of lint.”
To provide the highest level of quality and service possible to protect those at-risk patients, COMTEX was looking to supplement their quality assurance process to further eliminate risk of foreign debris on linen. “It’s a very intense and labor intensive process using lint rollers to remove [hair and lint],” said Noel. “The process is very detailed and while we’ve had very good results in this area, very good is not good enough.
COMTEX partnered with Ecolab to install AquaBatch and AquaDrain systems on two of their tunnel washers. Together, the AquaBatch and AquaDrain improve linen hygiene by removing hair, lint and debris from the wash process. The AquaBatch pulls water from the rinse zone of the tunnels, filters to remove contaminants and recirculates the filtered water back to the same compartment. The AquaDrain collects the hair, lint and debris from the AquaBatch back-flush in an oscillating filter bag. The AquaDrain filter bag reduces the amount of lint, hair and debris headed to the drain to cut down COD.
“Now, the laundry has ultimate confidence that they are doing everything possible to provide the safest, most hygienic linen to their customers.”
After installing the low maintenance AquaBatch and AquaDrain equipment, COMTEX was amazed by the debris that was removed from their wash process.
“We viewed the debris that we thought couldn’t possibly get through our existing process,” said Noel. “I found a staple one time, definitely lint and definitely hair. We are not talking huge amounts, just enough to put at risk the service we provide.”
Now, the laundry has ultimate confidence that they are doing everything possible to provide the safest, most hygienic linen to their customers. The AquaBatch is backflushed on a regular basis and “while the things found in [the AquaDrain] are not huge, they are significant in terms of maintaining the quality and service we needed,” remarked Noel. “I have not had any issues delivered to my desk with regard to lint and hair on any of the products since installing the system. Phone calls and issues with regard to foreign debris on the textiles went away.”
COMTEX also believes there is a substantial benefit to having the AquaBatch and AquaDrain system in terms of securing new, and retaining existing, customers. According to Noel, “There is a huge marketing factor. When I am trying to encourage a health system to join COMTEX as a customer, demonstrating that we have this system is a strong positive. All hospitals want the very best quality and AquaBatch is a significant factor.”
By implementing the AquaBatch and AquaDrain into their existing quality assurance program, COMTEX has reached new levels of quality and service.
“We pride ourselves at COMTEX at being a full service laundry,” remarked Noel. “When it comes to healthcare laundry, we can handle anything and everything that is thrown at us. With Ecolab, you have a team that is also a full service company. The [AquaBatch and AquaDrain] unit does exactly what Ecolab says it will do. It cleans linen, which is every laundry’s number one job. You can have the best people, best trucks, best whatever. But job one is clean linen and the AquaBatch and AquaDrain delivers clean linen.”