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Resources 2019, 8(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010037

Analysis of Sustainability in Hospital Laundry: The Social, Environmental, and Economic (Cost) Risks

1
Polytechnic School, University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo 93020-190, Brazil
2
School of Production Engineering, Federal University of state of Riode Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22451-070, Brazil
3
Production Engineering School, Federal University of Pampa, Bagé 95413-170, Brazil
4
Business School, University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Porto Alegre 91330-002, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract

Personal and physical injuries are two of the most relevant costs to hospitals. Hospital laundries are sources of these costs due to the physical and health risks present in the clothes and the activities performed. Energy and environmental risk and infrastructure issues also incur operational costs to these organizations and to the health system. This research analyzes the social, environmental, and economic risk in the hospital laundry process, through a multiple-case-study design. Data collection methods include interviews regarding three hospital laundry services in Brazil. The processes of these laundry services have a high consumption of resources (water and energy) and a substantial generation of solid and liquid wastes. Cost reduction actions include pooled laundry services and material substitution. There are also social and environmental risks, the most frequent being ergonomic, biological, and chemical hazards, and injures from sharp devices inadequately disposed. Hospital laundries need more sustainable operations, not only in the infrastructure, but also mostly in the awareness of leaders and teams about the importance of their engagements to resource management and waste reduction in laundry. It is opportune to convince professionals and users about changing habits that do not prioritize sustainability, especially its social and environmental aspects. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; healthcare; hospital; laundry; costs; workers; resources sustainability; healthcare; hospital; laundry; costs; workers; resources
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Lopes, C.M.; Scavarda, A.J.; de Carvalho, M.N.M.; Vaccaro, G.; Korzenowski, A.L. Analysis of Sustainability in Hospital Laundry: The Social, Environmental, and Economic (Cost) Risks. Resources 2019, 8, 37.

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