TRSA’s 7th Annual Healthcare Conference: Highlights Include Market Trends Update, Alsco Plant Tour
Nearly 200 linen, uniform and facility services executives recently gathered outside Charlotte, NC, for TRSA’s 7th Annual Healthcare Conference. The two-day event featured a wealth of education, networking and plant tours specifically designed for healthcare operators and associates.
The Nov. 28 opening keynote address titled “The Future of Healthcare is Now” was presented by Ceci Connolly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, an advocacy group based in Washington, DC. Connolly discussed trends driving the healthcare marketplace, such as total cost of care, affordability and quality. Connolly also detailed trends shifting healthcare from hospitals to home and looked at how gridlock in Washington affects the U.S. healthcare industry.
These presentations followed the keynote:
- Expansion into the Long-Term Care Market with Mike Lang, process analyst, Unitex; and Liz Remillong, vice president, strategic alliances, Crothall Healthcare
- Creative Staffing Strategies that Work, presented by Nancy Roberts, a hiring and staff-development consultant
- Recruiting Military Veterans with Lisa Rosser, the owner/founder of The Value of a Veteran
The lunch break included an update on TRSA’s government relations and certification programs by the association’s Vice President of Government Relations Kevin Schwalb.
The afternoon featured a look at smart textile innovations for use by hospitals and other healthcare providers, before the group split up for several breakout sessions, including:
- Preparing for a Tour with Hospital Infection Staff
- Securing Capital to Grow and Innovate
- Ambulatory Services/Retail Medical
- Managing Changing Customer Relationships and Expectations
Randy Bartsch, CEO, Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service was the moderator for “Reusables vs. Disposables: A Healthy Debate” featuring Melanie Miller, Healthcare Value Analysis Management Experts Inc.; and Mary Potter, independent value analysis consultant.
On Nov. 29, TRSA CEO & President Joseph Ricci moderated the panel: “Disaster Preparedness – Lessons Learned” with Mark Carter, president, Up To Date Laundry Inc.; Mike Lang, process analyst, Unitex; Michael Shulevitz, president, Cadillac Uniform and Linen Supply; and Tim Topornicki, Topper Linen Supply. Each panelist discussed the challenges and successes of keeping plants operational/customers serviced after experiencing disasters such as a crippling blizzard, hurricanes and a devastating fire.
The conference closed with a tour and debrief of Alsco Inc.’s Hygienically Clean certified Charlotte location.
The day before the conference kickoff, a group of nearly 30 CEOs and senior executives from TRSA member companies serving the healthcare sector gathered for roundtable discussion. They included:
American Textile Maintenance Florida Linen Services LLC
Bates Troy Healthcare Linen HandCraft Services Inc.
Cadillac Uniform & Linen Supply Inc. ImageFirst
Century Linen & Uniform K-Bro Linen Systems Inc.
CleanCare Linen King
Crothall Healthcare MediCleanse Linen Service
EcoBrite Linen Novo Health Services LLC
Economy Linen & Towel Services Inc. Paris Cos.
Key issues, trends and opportunities discussed included:
- Increased scrutiny of the cleanliness of healthcare linens and uniforms that may result in further regulation
- Labor shortages, rising wages and an aging population will create opportunities to expand the market including long-term care (LTC) and cubicle curtains
- Disconnect of customers from purchasing resulting in varying expectations and objectives, as well as targeted messaging and multiple customer contacts
- Influx of new products and processes to improve linen infection control and minimize the risk of hospital-based infections (HAIs) through the use of silver and cooper, chemicals, ozone injection and other initiatives
- Appropriate applications and value of reusable vs. single-use products, especially with healthcare community focus on reducing costs and waste
TRSA president and CEO Joseph Ricci noted that TRSA and its members have been helping educate healthcare officials through research and white papers, as well as creating training materials, such as the Six C’s for Handling Soiled Linen in a Healthcare Environment that the association has distributed to thousands of healthcare providers. Visit www.trsa.org/soiledlinendrive to download.