Time to Change your Hospital Sheets

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With a vision to transform the healthcare industry, Dr. Shashi Baliyan, co-founder of Shubhram Hospital Solutions Pvt. Ltd., has set precedence for every entrepreneur. Who knew a small but significant change could impact the lives of millions.

It all started when the UK-returned doctor saw the condition of bed sheets in a hospital he had inaugurated a week earlier. “The state of the sheets could be described in one word: terrible,” recalls Dr. Shashi Baliyan, adding, “When I asked one of the managers, he said that it wasn’t unusual for the bed sheets to remain soiled.”

On enquiring further about the washing procedure, the manager took him around the campus to a room which had huge laundry machines, bigger versions of the household washing machine. Dr. Baliyan observed that there was no concept of sterilisation and even basic sanitation was absent. He took it upon himself to transform the situation.

He thought of bringing the century-old European and American linen rental system to India. In October 2015, after extensive market research, he set up Shubhram Hospital Solutions.

For the first time in India, a rental system was created on the principle of providing clean and hygienic linen. Their model is simple. Hospitals don’t need to invest in buying linen, machinery like autoclaves and dryers, and utilities. Shubhram Solutions buys and processes everything ─ drapes, bed sheets, pillowcases, towels, and scrubs.

To gauge the quality of the washing process, swabs are taken from machines, trolleys and trucks to detect surface contaminants. The linen is subjected to 17 different types of tests according to the European standard for Risk Analysis and Bio Contamination (RABC), which happens to be more stringent than the one used in the United States. “The linen needs to be processed in a way that ensures complete removal of chemical and infectious biological agents,” says Dr. Baliyan.

The entire process, from washing the linen to the delivery of the product to the clients, is supervised using a Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) system. Data such as how many washes the linen has undergone, whether it has passed through each and every process, when it was packed, when it was delivered, and to whom it was delivered, is readily available.

Dr. Baliyan says, “The products must pass these rigorous tests. Our meticulous implementation of scientific methods is miles ahead of manual testing in ensuring the product is of the best quality.”

A single factory at Sonipat, near Delhi, processes 60 tonnes of linen every day. It is South Asia

Speaking of challenges, Dr. Baliyan recalls, “It proved difficult to convince people that automation is the future, that we have a system in place that will help us provide better service to the patients, even if it is in providing clean sheets. Nobody believed us when we predicted the level of automation that could be achieved, until they saw the factory .”

He further adds, “The least we can do, as healthcare service providers, is to ensure that clean linen is available to patients”.

It’s a tough task to introduce new concepts in an environment where an age-old practice is the rule. But every rule has an exception. “We understand that things are chaotic but that only makes us more determined to create order.”

If you want to revolutionize the world, you must begin at home. The founders of Shubhram Solutions are focused on creating a difference, be it in the form of job creation, or the impact of their services on the lives of millions of patients. That’s what drives them.

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