Laundry Weighing and Tracking System Saves Hospital Time, Money

As an example of the kind of comprehensive, process improvement solutions that we provide here at Alliance Scale, we thought we’d fill you in on a recent project that involved a custom scale solution for a high-volume laundry operation. After being approached by a local, Boston-area hospital for assistance in resolving discrepancies with laundry cleaning service charges, we developed a customized approach to tracking and comparing the weights at every step of the process.

First and foremost, since laundries charge by the pound, high-volume operations, like hotels and hospitals, need accurate weight measurements to ensure effective quality control and accounting. We began with a 4 x 4  5000 lb. floor scale calibrated to national standards. For ease of use, we used a programmable Indicator where we programed “soft keys” which were labeled according to categories: “soiled laundry,” “clean laundry,” and “bulk laundry.”  And, behind these labels, we installed a powerful database.

Each laundry cart was labeled with an individual barcode, which was associated with the cart’s tare weight in the database. Now, each time a cart of laundry is sent out to be cleaned, its barcode is scanned by an operator using a handheld wand scanner. When the operator weighs the laundry, its weight is stored in the database. When the clean laundry is received, the carts  barcode is scanned, weighed in, when the cart leaves it is scanned as weighed out along with the net weight which is the actual weight of the clean laundry used.

Further, when bulk laundry arrives at the hospital in the carts, not all of the clean scrubs, sheets, towels, etc. are used right away. Scanning the cart barcodes allows cart weights to be compared (current vs. original when full) to track how much has actually been used. Not only does this system help with laundry finances then, it also assists the hospital with automated inventory tracking.   The Programmable indicator is on the Hospital network and polled for the information weekly.  When polled the information is imported into an excel spreadsheet for comparison to invoices from the outside laundry vendor.

Stay tuned for more application stories on how our scales and networking solutions have improved operations, and ultimately the bottom line for our customers.