Central Ohio Medical Textiles (COMTEX) provides high quality, customer oriented linen service to many healthcare facilities in Ohio. With more accreditations than any other laundry facility in Ohio by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council, COMTEX’s sterilization process launders all types of textiles used at healthcare facilities including drapes, wraps, towels, sponges, linens, gowns, surgical scrubs and uniforms. Looking to expand their regional reach and provide closer services to healthcare facilities in northern Ohio, COMTEX worked with M+A to design a new facility in Ashland, Ohio similar to their sole location in Columbus. Using lessons learned from the previous facility along with planning for better efficiencies, flexibilities and room for future growth, the one-story building took shape around the processes within.
Most important to this facility is infection control. They are the first line of defense in infectious disease prevention and control for hospitals and outpatient facilities that utilize their services. The facility is divided into two zones, the soiled side is negative pressure, and the clean side is positive pressure to prevent the spread of infection. Every surgical blanket, patient gown, and surgical scrub is hand sorted at the soiled sorting platform by team members wearing the appropriate PPE. From here the load runs through specialized wash chambers and then to large commercial dryers. Through bags that hang from tracks that travel throughout the facility—bags with soiled linens stay on the soiled side and bags with clean linens on the clean side—the linens move through to staff that then either feed them through folding machines or hand fold them and put them onto carts that are then prepared for shipping. The sanitized linens are then loaded onto trucks for distribution at docks located on the back side of the building.
Paramount to the success of this project was the collaboration between all team members to establish the flow of the building with the complex systems involved. Careful adherence to building code and AHJ around high hazard building design was critical.