Healthcare Sector Textile Services Executives Gather at TRSA Conference


Nearly 130 laundry professionals, including more than 50 CEOs and executives representing more than 80 percent of commercial healthcare-sector laundry production, participated in TRSAs Healthcare Conference and CEO/Executive Roundtable Healthcare, held Nov. 14-15, 2012 in Dallas. 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.

Jeffrey Bauer, an internationally recognized health futurist and medical economist, began the conference by providing his views on the future of healthcare reform and delivery stating 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, said Bauer, by focusing on improving efficiency and effectiveness. He reiterated the trends identified in his Reinventing Healthcare: Challenges and Opportunities article that appears in the November issue of Textile Services, TRSAs monthly magazine for laundry, linen and uniform management.

In addition, Bauer discussed opportunities specifically for textile services companies 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. You must view your products and services from your customers perspective, said Bauer in closing, and provide expertise and solutions to reduce waste, reduce cost and improve delivery.

His theme of change and adaptation by textile services 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 highlighting benefits and features of their products specific to the healthcare sector.

Companies presenting were:
- G.A. Braun, Inc., Syracuse, NY
- Ellis Corp., Itasca, IL
- Girbau Industrial, Oshkosh, WI
- Jensen USA, Panama City Beach, FL
- Kannegiesser USA, Grand Prairie, TX
- Lavatec Laundry Technology, Beacon Falls, CT
- Pellerin Milnor Corp., Kenner, LA

Participants in the healthcare textile services CEO panel:
- Dave Van Vliet, Angelica Corp., Alpharetta, GA
- Randy Bartsch, Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service, Seattle, WA
- Jeff Berstein, ImageFirst Healthcare Laundry Specialists, Radnor, PA
- David Stern, Paris Companies, DuBois, PA
- Michael Potack, Unitex Textile Rental Services, Mt. Vernon, NY

The CEO panelists 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 roundtable annually with the conference scheduled for November 2013 in Philadelphia.

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