Ozone Helps Nursing Home Management Lower Costs
The Fairview Healthcare Center Bethlehem Pike, Philadelphia, was the location of a carefully controlled test of ozone laundry in a long-term care setting. Over a period of 146 days, researchers measured the performance of the system both before and after the DEL Ozone installation, down to the level of machine by machine. The bottom line from that study indicated Genesis Healthcare, the owner of Fairview, would save $16,510 annually (in 2008 dollars and rates).
Since that test in late 2008, Genesis has rolled out the DEL Ozone Laundry Program to a total of 19 additional facilities, with great results. The company has ordered additional systems at another 28 facilities and plans to continue expanding the ozone laundry initiative in 2010 and 2011 to build on the accumulating savings of ozone laundering.
Genesis Healthcare is one of the largest providers of long-term healthcare in the United States. It has over 200 Skilled Nursing Centers (SNFs) and Assisted Living communities in 13 eastern states.
Like all long-term care providers, Genesis faces withering cost pressures from both Medicare and state Medicaid programs seeking to reduce fees for services. Every cost center in a facility is critical to nursing home management in its on-going fight to deliver high quality services within a fiscally sound business.
Every SNF has an on-premise laundry operation that is subject to tight regulatory standards for linen separation (soiled and clean) and cleanliness – this is truly a situation where clean is critical. Under these conditions, finding a way to control laundry costs without sacrificing control over linen outcomes is a high priority. Genesis teamed up with DEL Ozone to test ozone laundry to see if it could help.
The Fairview Ozone Laundry Test
The Fairview Healthcare Center operates an on-premise laundry of three machines, plus all the ancillary storage, folding spaces, dryers, and racks needed to supply clean, fresh daily linens to a 180-bed long-term care facility. Energy (natural gas), electricity, fabric softener, and linen soft costs were metered or monitored on a daily basis for 37 days before the ozone laundry installation and 109 days after. This analysis was conducted at the machine level and aggregated for the laundry operation as a whole.
The pre- and post-test annualized costs are shown in the following table:
|Cost Source||Pre-Ozone Annual Cost||Post-Ozone Annual Cost||Annual Savings|
|Energy, hot water||$8,891||$913||$7,978|
The investment summary puts this into perspective:
Project Cost: $20,300
Investment recapture period: 14.8 months
1st year Return on Investment: 81%
Total monthly savings: $1,376
Carbon footprint reduction: 179 tons
Looking at total costs, implementation of the ozone laundry system lowered Genesis Healthcare laundry costs at Fairview by 29%. Multiplied across many facilities, ozone laundry helps Genesis meet its financial goals.
Rolling Ozone out to Genesis Facilities
Nursing home management benefits from best practices, so Genesis decided to expand the Ozone Laundry Program into more facilities during 2009. DEL Ozone laundry systems were installed in an additional 19 facilities during that year under the DEL Clean Ozone Laundry Program. Anticipated monthly energy savings targets were set for each facility and a test across all 20 total ozone facilities began with January 2010.
Based on the results for the first 6 months of 2010, Genesis energy savings will hit 100% of goals across all facilities, from a low of 41% to a high of 213% of target. The projected savings for all of 2010 for these operations was $183,470.
Ozone Laundry Delivers on its Promises
In these real world environments, ozone laundry saves money and still delivers laundry outcomes that satisfy the tough regulators who inspect these facilities regularly. In Genesis' case, installing ozone under the DEL Clean Ozone Laundry Program meant building a total quality solution that lowered costs by design.