We are all familiar with the paper documents, paper towels, and sheet of paper that covers the bench that patients sit on in family doctor offices and urgent care centers. However, one hospital in Australia is looking at switching from linen sheets and gowns to paper sheets and gowns in an effort to cut costs.
According to the article on the Herald Sun’s website by Paul Lampathakis titled, “Hospital to save money by using paper bed sheets,” “The Sunday Times can reveal Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital has been pushing to use disposable paper bedsheets, patient gowns and other articles in general and other wards.”
According to the article, the plan hasn’t been publicized heavily because they knew people would be upset. A cost-benefit analysis has to be conducted first, and “Australian Medical Association WA president David Mountain said the AMA wanted proof that patient care and comfort would not be compromised by the plan.”
In the article, a spokesperson for Health Minister Kim Hames said that in some settings paper linen was considered best practice.
Also, the article mentions the washing jobs that will be lost; however, it fails to mention if any jobs would be gained in the paper industry…
Although I believe paper has a place in the medical setting, I’m not sure paper sheets and gowns are appropriate. I believe paper towels, paper documents and patient files are more appropriate.
I personally don’t think paper sheets and gowns are practical for patients who have to stay in hospitals long term. However, it could be better to use paper gowns and sheets in emergency rooms or doctors’ offices where the patient’s length of stay is short-term.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
- Hospital to save money by using paper bed sheets (news.com.au)