Category Archives: Healthcare

The Latest in Healthcare Packaging

While we at Elkay are drawing attention and generating excitement with our new product line of gourmet Cooking bags, we have been hard at work at introducing other interesting product lines as well. One of these new product lines, our new Lab-Loc® specimen bags, are different from most other specimen bags available in the healthcare market. They have bilingual instructions printed in English and Spanish, have an outer pouch to hold accompanying labz810ba (470x640)paperwork, and have a Seal-N-Rip® feature which gives lab technicians quick access to the bags’ contents since the top of the bags can be torn off at the tear line.

In addition to looking clean-cut and stylish, these bags can help save end users money in disposal costs since they feature a special removable biohazard symbol. You see, packaging or materials that come into contact with potentially infectious specimens are required by Federal and State laws to be disposed of in a special, and more costly, waste stream specifically for biological and infectious waste. Any product that has a biohazard symbol printed on it should be disposed of through this special waste stream. If the new Lab-Loc® bag hasn’t come into direct physical contact with its specimen, the biohazard symbol at the top of the bag can be torn off. Since the bag no longer has a printed biohazard symbol, the rest of the bag can be disposed of with general waste, which will help end users save on disposal costs.

Equally as important, all of the new Lab-Loc® bags are manufactured in a Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliant country. TAA-compliance provides a decisive advantage when doing business with Federal Government Agencies such as the General Services Administration (GSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Defense (DoD), in addition to their many suppliers and contractors. Last, but not least, these bags are designed for accountability and ease of use in a healthcare environment. All Lab-Loc® bags are packed in clear, individually-labeled and bar-coded dispenser packs that make each bag easy to pull out and trace back to their production run. Our full line of Lab-Loc® bags in their wide variety of sizes, colors, and configurations can be found here.

The Elkay Advantage: Packaging that Shows Quality

At Elkay Plastics, we take great pride in how our products are packaged. While this may sound confusing at first, let me explain further:

Many of our bags are packed in cartons or inner-packaging with individually labeled and bar-coded inner packs. This process helps give our customers confidence that they receive clean, durable, and organized products every time they buy Elkay products. Bar-coding and labeling of each inner pack helps account for each product and allows us to trace each product all the way back to its original manufacturing run. Our dispensing system improves our end users’ cost control, facilitates inventory management and minimizes waste. This all ties back in to our rigorous quality certification standards such as ISO 9001:2008 and annual Food Safety audits. What’s the point of going through so much effort to ensure seamless production processes and creating quality products if they’re going to be packaged in a messy and disorganized manner? Ask yourself this: If you were looking to buy bags, which product would you buy?

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9 x 12 Bags from Leading Competitor

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9 x 12 Bags from Elkay Plastics

Get Ready for Rainy Season with Umbrella Bags

Spring is in the air and the rainy season is well on its way. While rain can cause major and obvious problems such as flooding and slippery roads, it can also cause slippery floors which can lead to slip and fall accidents.

Slip and fall accidents are often an afterthought for restaurant, store, and businesses owners, however, they can be exceptionally costly and create massive liabilities. A 2006 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics rated the average cost of a slip and fall injury at $28,000. Furthermore, a Center of Disease Control report found that 20 to 30% of slip and fall injuries are considered moderate to severe, meaning head injuries, fractures, and sprains. Out of all work-related injuries and workers’ compensation costs, 15% of them are attributed to slip and fall accidents. If the injuries, lost work time, and workers compensation claims were not bad enough by themselves, slip and fall accidents can also result in expensive, time-consuming and resource-draining lawsuits.umbrella_bag_stand-m

While not all slip and fall accidents are fully preventable, there are easy and economical measures businesses can take to protect customers, employees, and themselves. One simple and cheap way to keep floors dry is to use Umbrella Bags from Elkay Plastics. Umbrella Bags are a proven, convenient and economical way to help keep water off the floor during rainy weather. Keep them in lobbies, entrances, and other access points as a courtesy to patrons, guests and employees to place their umbrellas in during bouts of rain. Our Umbrella bags are made from strong and cost-effective high density polyethylene and are available in two sizes to fit a variety of umbrellas. The bags are on a convenient header pack that provides easy dispensing for the user and makes it easy to replenish the bags on the stand. Elkay umbrella bag header packs have 4 large holes on the sides and one in the center so they will be able to fit a variety of different hooks and stands, including our own. Elkay umbrella bags are a convenient and low cost way to protect your customers, employees, and your floors.

Item

Description

Size

Gauge (mil)

Quantity Header/Case

UB0724

Medium Umbrella Bag

7 x 24

0.7

100/1000

UB0735

Long Umbrella Bag

7 x 35

0.7

100/1000

UBSTAND

Umbrella Bag Stand

19 x 45

N/A

1

The Case for Water Soluble Laundry Bags

A recent article in Clean Link discusses a largely unnoticed problem in hospitals; the spread of bacteria in laundered towels. The spread of dangerous bacteria and pathogens causes Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) which, according to the Center of Disease Control, account for approximately 99,000 unnecessary deaths and tens of billions of dollars in costs annually in the US alone. While Hospital acquired infections are well-known and heavily documented, it is a new revelation that they could potentially be spread by towels thought to be clean.

Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist from University of Arizona, conducted a study of 10 Arizona hospitals on the spread of harmful bacteria and pathogens. Dr. Gerba collected three “clean” cloth towels from each hospital and analyzed them for the presence of bacteria. His findings were alarming, 93% of the laundered towels tested positive for dangerous bacteria such as E. Coli and Klebsiella among others.

Gerba pointed to inadequate laundering practices as one of the main culprits. According to Dr. Gerba: “If they’re folding these [laundered] towels, they need to make sure they disinfect the tables first. They could be taking their dirty laundry down and piling it on the table before putting it in the machine.” Gerba also explained that if a janitor or custodian has dirty hands from handling dirty laundry, they could be spreading the bacteria to clean laundry. He further elaborated that a janitor’s hands could get tainted when putting dirty laundry in the washer and then putting wet laundry in the dryer, which could infect the clean laundry.

Water soluble laundry bags, combined with hand washing and other best practices, can drastically reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and pathogens. Water soluble bags are made from non-toxic polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) that will fully dissolve in water at temperatures at 140º F or above. They include dissolvable ties to seal the bags once the laundry is placed inside. When using water soluble bags, janitorial staff will not have to come in direct contact with dirty laundry and will be able to place the bag with the contaminated laundry directly in the washer, preventing the staff from becoming contaminated. The bags, which can hold wet or damp laundry for several hours, will not damage drains or sewer systems, and are environmentally friendly, leaving behind no residue. Water soluble bags, in combination with other best practices, are an inexpensive and logical product for any hospital or long term care clinic. They provide a low cost solution that will help reduce the spread of Hospital acquired infections, which results in healthier, happier patients and significantly lower costs.

Check out Elkay’s selection of Water Soluble Bags:

Item #       Product Name    Size

Gauge

Case Pack

  UOM
WSB2633 26 x 33 Water Soluble Bag 26 X 33 .8 mil         100    CS
WSB2839 28 x 39 Water Soluble Bag 28 X 39 .8 mil         100    CS
WSB3639 36 x 39″ Water Soluble Bag 36 X 39 .8 mil         100    CS

Selling Specimen Bags into Healthcare

The Laboratory environment within healthcare can be complex and constantly changing; however, the good news is that the lab specimen bags used within most medical facilities is quite commonplace. For most lab specimen bags used, there is a typical standardized mix as outlined below:

Key Lab Specimen Bags Used Within Healthcare Locations:

Part Number

Description

Quantity/Case

 LAB20609

 6 x 9 Standard Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with pocket for documents

 1000/case, 100/pack

 LAB20810

8 x 10 Standard Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with pocket for documents

 1000/case, 100/pack

 LAB211215

12 x 15 Standard Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with pocket for documents

 1000/case, 100/pack

STAT Bags for Rush Situations

Part Number 

Description

Quantity/Case

LAB20609STAT

6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with red tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

Colored Bags for Sample Segmentation

Part Number

Description

Quantity/Case

LAB20609BE

 6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with blue tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

LAB20609GR

6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with green tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

LAB20609OE

6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with orange tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

LAB20609YE

6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with yellow tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

LAB20609ROP

 6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with red opaque tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

LAB20609RE

 6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bag with red tint and pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

LAB20609AS

 6 x 9 Reclosable Biohazard Lab bags with assorted colors and pockets for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

(200 bags each of red, blue, green, yellow, and orange tints)

Adhesive Seal Bags for Situations that Require Tamper Evidence (such as Drug Testing) 

Part Number

Description

Quantity/Case

 LABAC20610

 Standard 6 x 10 Biohazard Lab bag with security seal and pocket for documents

 1000/case, 100/pack

 LABAC21010

 Standard 10 x 10 Biohazard Lab bag with security seal and pocket for documents

 1000/case, 100/pack

 LABAC21517

 Standard 15 x 17 Biohazard Lab Bag with security seal and pocket for documents

 1000/case, 100/pack

Unprinted Lab Bags for General Purpose, Non-Biohazard Required Applications

Part Number

Description

Quantity/Case

LAB20609NP

Standard 6 x 9 clear Reclosable bag with pocket for documents

1000/case, 100/pack

 

When working with Hospitals or Independent Reference Labs, below are key steps to follow that will make the sales process a smooth one:

1.  Always Start with the end user. Visit the Lab Department to identify the Lab Manager and speak with him or her to identify what types of products the Lab uses today in relation to Lab specimen bags. Be sure to ask about specimen bags and any other type of bags they may be using such as courier bags, etc. You may find that the account uses standard stock products or customized bags.

2.  After you identify WHAT they are using, ask WHO they are sourcing the product from today and if they are apart of any GPO program. The Lab may or may not know those answers, so you will need to find out who the Materials Manager in their Purchasing Department is. Also ask about HOW many bags are used either monthly or annually per SKU.

3.  THEN go to the Purchasing Department AFTER you are armed with the knowledge of what the facility is utilizing. Approach the Materials Manager and mention that you would like the opportunity to discuss specimen bags from Elkay Plastics. State that during one of your visits, you had met the Lab Manager and they shared information about what the facility is using today and that Elkay has a comparable product which may save the facility money.

4.  Once you have been able to contact the Materials Department, work with your distributor account manager to provide a quote and any samples that are required. If at any point along the sales process if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any member of our Healthcare team. We are here to help and assist with any questions you may have.

5.  Convert that business and begin reaping the volume rewards of healthcare sales! Remember, it begins with YOU simply asking a few questions and leveraging your existing network to get the necessary introductions. Good luck!