Standard Textile One of the Healthiest
100 Workplaces in America

CINCINNATI (1/17/2014) — Standard Textile has been named one of the 2014 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America by Healthiest Employers, the leader in employee health analytics, best practices and benchmark data.

The Healthiest 100 list includes employers of all sizes from all industries across the country. Standard Textile’s corporate wellness program was recognized as a result of a year-long, highly selective assessment process.

“We want our associates and their families to achieve the highest possible quality of life,” said Gary Heiman, President and CEO of Standard Textile.

“Helping others succeed is at the core of everything we do. The recognition by Healthiest Employers is well deserved. We’ve designed a comprehensive wellness program that helps our associates achieve their personal health goals, and it’s rewarding to see the success they’ve experienced.”

Components of Standard Textile’s wellness program include comprehensive annual blood screenings for associates and spouses, significant wellness incentives (up to $3,600 annually), leadership accountability, and an aggressive strategy that integrates health and wellness into the company culture. An on-site fitness center, personalized health and wellness coaching, nutrition consultations, and group fitness classes are a few of the benefits the company offers to promote an active lifestyle.

Standard Textile enjoys a very high degree of engagement, demonstrated by the participation rate of associates and spouses covered under the health care plan. In 2013, the number of participants who achieved their wellness incentives included:

  • 92% completed a preventative physical examination
  • 89% do not use tobacco products
  • 84% achieved their goals for reducing modifiable risk factors

“The Healthiest 100 stand apart from other employers in three ways: their approach to health cost and risk data, how they incorporate cultural and employee considerations, and their expectations for their employee wellness teams,” said Healthiest Employers’ Strategic Initiatives Director Andrew Lockerbie.

Download Press Release

Standard Textile’s Heiman
Honored with Carl H. Lindner Award

American Laundry News | January 2014

Standard Textile President and CEO Gary Heiman was recently presented with the Carl H. Lindner Award for Entrepreneurial and Civic Spirit at the 2013 Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100 luncheon, the company reports.

The annual Deloitte Cincinnati USA 100 list recognizes the achievements of Greater Cincinnati’s largest privately held businesses, the company says, where Standard Textile was recognized as one of the region’s 100 largest privately held companies, and was one of just 14 companies that have been included in the list every year since it was first compiled in 1983.

Gary-Heiman_Cincinnati-Enquirer

The Carl H. Lindner Award for Entreprenurial and Civic Spirit was presented to Heiman for “personifying the leadership, business success and civic involvement that was characterized by Carl Lindner, who made a profound impact on the Cincinnati community,” Standard Textile says.

In 1986, Heiman became president of Standard Textile, which his grandfather, Charles, had founded as a linen distribution company in 1940. Heiman was named CEO in 1994, and the company has since expanded into the hospitality and workwear industry.

Since undertaking his role as CEO, Heiman established “the first textile wholly owned foreign enterprise in China,” as well as led Standard Textile to become “the first American company to build a manufacturing facility in Irbid, Jordan,” in 1997, the company says.

Heiman is a member of the board of trustees of the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee, the company adds.

Additionally, he is a chairman of the board of trustees of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati; former chairman of the Jewish Community Center; a member of the Cincinnati Business Committee; and former chairman of the board of The Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati.

Hotel, Motel Show Features Optimistic Tone

ALN Photo_IHMRS_Jan 2014

Various companies unveiled their new products at the recent International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show. Among them was Standard Textile, which debuted its woven microfilament bed scarf. The product offers both function and design, according to Greg Eubanks, group vice president for the company’s hospitality sales and marketing. (Photo: Hospitality Media Group)

By Richard Merli | American Laundry News | January 8

NEW YORK — Managers of laundries, hotels and motels took advantage of the opportunity to learn about the cost savings associated with new laundry machinery, textiles and chemical systems on display at the 98th Annual International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS).

Many product manufacturers indicated that they are benefiting from a resurgence in demand for new laundry machinery, chemicals and textiles as a result of efforts to rebuild hotel and motel properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October.

Attendance for the Nov. 9-12 event at the Jacob Javits Convention Center was 15,996, an increase of 11.3% over last year’s total of 14,366, according to Megan Alexander, a spokesperson for the show’s management. The increase in attendance reflects the recovery of New York’s economy following last year’s hurricane, she says.

[…]

Standard Textile exhibited its solution to the ongoing problem of coping with stains on bed scarfs caused by hotel guests who toss their luggage onto the bed upon their arrival. The company has developed an integrated, woven microfilament bed scarf.

The product offers both function and design “in a laundry performance product,” according to Greg Eubanks, group vice president for hospitality sales and marketing at Standard Textile, based in Cincinnati. Eubanks says the new product received “an overwhelming response” at the show.

Continue reading…

Ensure Cleanliness Through
Linen Quality Assurance Program

By Carlo Calma | American Laundry News | January 14, 2014

CHICAGO — For Barbara Williams, operations manager of consultative services at Standard Textile, defining the word “quality” can be somewhat of a challenge.

“Why is it such a challenge?” Williams asks. “Because there is no universal interpretation. Quality means different things to different people.”

Williams tackled the subject in a recent Association for Linen Management (ALM) webinar titled Building a Successful Linen Quality Assurance Program, offered to help laundry managers and healthcare facilities establish best practices and standards in their own programs.

“In today’s healthcare environment, it’s imperative to provide a high-quality, hygienically clean and safe product to the end-user,” says Williams. “With current changes in hospital reimbursements, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction will have a major impact on the financial health of your facility, or your customers. Strong quality assurance programs are essential.”

SETTING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS

Regardless of whether a laundry facility processes rental linens or customer-owned goods (COG), Williams first highlighted the importance of laundry managers soliciting customer input, feedback and recommendations. “You need to solicit customer input as far as their expectations and what they will agree is acceptable product in their system,” she says.

Williams pointed out that expectations between a rental laundry and a COG plant can differ. “COG is going to have a lot more input … on what those standards of quality should be, whereas a [rental] laundry will also have a large say in the products that they keep circulating in the system,” she says.

Despite the differences in expectations, as a laundry, the goal is providing quality product.

“As laundry managers, you must provide a hygienically clean product in order to minimize the risk of spreading infection, and also provide a clean experience for the customer,” says Williams. “With new research on microorganisms that can survive on textiles, this is extremely important.”

FOLLOWING GUIDELINES

Another set of responsibilities to which laundry managers must adhere when setting up a linen quality assurance program is following regulatory guidelines, says Williams. Organizations such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, The Joint Commission, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and ALM have set standards and guidelines on processing healthcare linen, she says.

Not only should laundries maintain a separation of soiled and clean linen, proper equipment maintenance and monitoring chemicals are essential, Williams adds.

“If the equipment is not maintained, it can destroy the linen,” she says. “And improper chemicals can destroy the linen. It’s important to be sure to provide the proper pH value to your customers for good clinical outcomes.”

Meeting deadlines is vital. “Another quality responsibility is timely processing,” adds Williams. “You need to have agreed-upon turnaround time with your customers, and you need to follow and produce that turnaround time.”

PERFECTING PROCEDURES

In the laundry process, items such as surgical adhesives and other disposable objects can get mixed in with the linen, says Williams. She advises to check linen, such as scrubs, lab coats and uniform pockets, to remove such objects to ensure cleanliness.

“As laundry people, you’re probably thinking … the healthcare facility is responsible [for this], and I do agree with you,” she says. “However, if they do not adhere to their responsibilities, then you need to take on that responsibility in your laundry.”

“Also look at the appearance of proper folding of the linen and the hanging of the linen that will appear to your customers as cleanliness and neatness,” Williams adds. “In the packing and transport, you need to make sure that the linen is covered … and that soiled-linen collection carts are put through a cart wash as needed.”

Other responsibilities, like inspecting linen for visible stains, holes and tears, are par for the course. But Williams adds that other processes that may not necessarily be standard procedure are important, as well.

“If you provide a surgical program and process surgical linen, you may be responsible for inspection of those surgical products,” she says, adding that such tasks would include folding linen according to the doctors’ and nurses’ recommendations; patching; ensuring barrier quality of surgical linens; and discarding linens that are no longer useful.

For laundry facilities that process surgical linens, Williams also stressed the importance of having cleanliness standards documented. “Inspect each item carefully. When it comes to surgical products, it’s even more critical than patient floor procedures.”

She highlighted best practices, such as utilizing overhead lighting to inspect linens for lint and stains, and barrier testing in processing surgical products. “Even if the product has not reached its life expectancy and cycle, it is possible that the barrier quality has been compromised if the wrong laundering procedures are used,” says Williams. “Barrier tests of some products should be done randomly, preferably on a daily basis.”

HEALTHCARE FACILITY’S ROLE

Linen responsibilities not only lie with the laundry but with the healthcare facility as well, according to Williams. “If the healthcare facility owns the linen, then it’s their responsibility to purchase the proper quality of linen,” she says. “Poor-quality products produce poor results. A laundry cannot be held responsible for the life of an inferior product.”

Healthcare facilities should maintain adequate linen inventory to not only preserve the life of linens, but to attain fill rates, she adds. “It’s also the healthcare facility’s responsibility to set and document measurable standards. You want to set them, you want to document them and you want to have a way to measure them,” says Williams.

Removing non-linen objects from soiled laundry also should be a priority for healthcare facilities, Williams recommends. “Once it gets to the laundry … the high production in the laundry can’t catch every tape and lead that comes through in that soiled linen,” she says.

And as the “first line of defense,” Williams adds that healthcare facilities also should take part in a linen “reject program” to properly set up standards as to which types of damaged linens can still be deemed acceptable for use.

“One very popular method of culling out unacceptable linen is putting a ‘Clean Unacceptable’ linen bag on the linen carts when they go to the floor,” says Williams. “Linen distribution then collects that unacceptable linen and can inspect it and rewash or discard as needed.”

CHALLENGES

No process can ever be perfect, and Williams acknowledged this, saying that on the laundry’s end, customers can have “unrealistic” expectations. “That’s why it’s very important to have a good partnership, good communication to set those expectations together.”
Managers should be realistic with staff production goals, she adds.

“If you’re a laundry [that] provides incentives to production staff based upon volume, this could cause some quality concerns, because they may be trying to reach their goal and skimp on the quality end.”

And though laundry managers and healthcare facilities may agree on a linen standard they believe is acceptable, patients and their families may think otherwise, which can affect a healthcare facility’s standing in patient surveys such as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, and the Press Ganey patient satisfaction survey, according to Williams.

In addition to external challenges, laundries and healthcare facilities can face internal challenges. “We also have the language barriers in the laundries today, and they can be a challenge,” she says. “Using visuals can help a lot, in that respect.”

QUALITY ASSURANCE OUTCOMES

Establishing and adhering to a quality assurance program can have many benefits. Laundries will save time and money by avoiding reprocessing linen, and it can reduce linen loss and mysterious disappearances, according to Williams, leading to not only delighted customers, but customer retention, as well.

For healthcare facilities, utilizing a quality assurance program to ensure linen cleanliness will improve patient scores, according to Williams. “It’s going to enhance your credibility and your image in the marketplace.”

The results will not only be appreciated by patients, but staff as well, she adds. “If the staff has what they need, when they need it, in a good quality, they don’t have to go searching for linens,” says Williams. “If they have products that are protecting them, [they are] going to be much more satisfied in their jobs, and therefore you can retain those employees.”

To ensure these outcomes, Williams stressed that quality is everyone’s responsibility.

“Whether you’re a laundry, whether you’re linen distribution, whether you’re a healthcare facility, everyone has to work together to provide a quality and safe product to your staff and to your patients,” she says. “If you do that, your customer and staff will applaud you.”