Image courtsey of Beebe Healthcare

Beebe Healthcare, the largest employer in Sussex County, Del., is servicing southern Delaware with its community-based health care system that offers a range of services from walk-in and primary care to cardiac, vascular, surgical, oncology, women’s health and orthopedic care. The hospital has a 210-bed facility in Lewes, originally founded in 1916, which is rated in the top 5% nationally for patient satisfaction. To contribute to positive patient outcomes, Beebe Healthcare swapped out its traditional fabric privacy curtains systemwide to disposable curtains with hookless-ring technology and built-in QR codes. These QR codes, printed on each curtain panel, are synced with the Changeout Curtain Tracker app to make compliance tracking easy and affordable.

Iris Verdi, director of environmental services at Beebe Healthcare, spearheaded the change to the disposable curtains after retrofitting seven hospitals with On the Right Track's disposable curtain system throughout her career. Verdi was one of the first users of the disposable curtain system, seeing it through to its recycling capability. She has been a loyal customer for 14 years and wants other health systems to know how easy the switch to the disposable curtain system is. “I was one of the first customers of On the Right Track’s disposable curtain option. I've gone with them ever since.” Verdi says. 

Before the switch, Beebe Healthcare used traditional fabric curtains that required ladders to change out every curtain. The process often resulted in missing or broken hooks, leading to an unkempt and unprofessional look. The laundering process was also a hassle, with the hospital having its own washers and dryers that resulted in messy-looking, wrinkled curtains. Switching to the disposable curtains eliminated these problems and outsourcing the laundering process saved the hospital money.

Operational optimization and increased patient satisfaction

With quick and hassle-free changeout in under two minutes, health care staff can focus their energy on patient care and other essential tasks, enhancing overall productivity and quality of care within the facility. Furthermore, the benefits of disposable curtains extend beyond efficiency. A neat and professional appearance plays a crucial role in creating a positive and welcoming environment for patients. Disposable curtains maintain a fresh and pristine look, ensuring a visually appealing setting that enhances patient satisfaction. A clean and well-maintained health care space contributes to a sense of comfort, trust and confidence in the quality of care provided. By incorporating disposables into the facility's design, health care providers can create an environment that promotes positive patient experiences and contributes to better overall patient outcomes.

Infection control 

Disposable curtains provide significant infection control benefits, particularly when it comes to contributing to the minimization of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Traditional fabric curtains can harbor and spread bacteria, viruses and other pathogens while disposable curtains offer a hygienic solution. With their single-use nature and built-in QR code changeout tracking, these curtains eliminate the need for laundering and reduce the risk of cross-contamination with greater clarity in how often curtains are being replaced. Each new curtain installation ensures a fresh, sterile barrier, minimizing the potential for HAIs. Disposables proactively enhance infection control protocols and serve as a proactive measure in preventing the spread of harmful pathogens, contributing to the overall health and well-being of everyone within the health care facility.

Easy changeout compliance 

Verdi emphasizes the importance of compliance tracking for curtain changeout. The old process involved using a spreadsheet to track curtain changes, which was inconsistent and confusing. The Changeout Curtain Tracker app simplifies and streamlines compliance tracking. "The app helps manage a process that can be overlooked and overwhelming,” says Verdi. The app syncs in real time to a cloud-based app, allowing users to track curtain status by location, user and time. Users can create custom alerts such as scheduled changeout reminders and custom reports with built-in filters.

The benefits of the disposable curtain system are clear. Verdi notes that these curtains are polypropylene and the only disposable curtains on the market currently that are recyclable, which is a significant feature from a sustainability perspective. The amount of water saved is also significant. Using the disposable curtains leads to enhanced productivity and consistency with policies.

Verdi wants other health systems to know how easy the switch is to execute. On the Right Track is a sole-source provider that delivers everything necessary, from the proprietary tracking that easily retrofits with little more than a couple of screws and supports the hookless-ring technology, to the disposable curtains with QR codes and the synced automated app to bring it all full circle. The disposable curtain system with built-in automated changeout tracking is easy to use and affordable, making compliance tracking simpler than ever before.

Return on investment  

The affordability of disposable cubicle curtains is a significant advantage when comparing them to traditional fabric curtains. According to the findings outlined in the white paper entitled “Materiality Matters: Evidence-based research is clear; it is past time for health systems to re-evaluate the cubicle curtain,” the initial cost per bed for disposable curtains is notably lower than that of fabric curtains. This cost-effectiveness is attributed to the elimination of expenses associated with curtain maintenance, including laundering and repairs. With disposable curtains, health care facilities can achieve substantial savings without compromising on quality or infection control measures. By opting for disposables, health systems can allocate their resources more efficiently, redirecting the saved funds towards other critical areas of patient care and facility enhancements. It's a cost-effective solution that offers both financial benefits and a hygienic environment, making disposable curtains a compelling choice for health care facilities seeking affordability without compromising on patient safety and satisfaction.

To read the full case study that details the journey Beebe Healthcare took in switching over, clickhere.