Introduction: Along with the ability to control fire, the use of clothing (second skin) is the other important discovery that has modified human morphology. It is estimated that human beings started using clothing 75,000 + 45,000 years ago (1).
Linen plays an important role in establishing the hospitals image and infection control. It is imperative for the hospital to choose linen which helps achieve these objectives. It is also a cost centre and thus calls for choosing fabric which is durable and cost effective. 
Methodology: It was a concurrent study conducted at a tertiary care autonomous healthcare institute in North India. Data was collected from records such as the linen condemnation register and the “Daily Receiving of Linen” register for the duration of six months i.e. from January 2016 to June 2016. Data was collected to ascertain the life of two different types of fabric being used in the hospital to make and this was then used to compare cost implications of using these two types of linen. Informal interviews with end-users of these fabrics were taken to find out the satisfaction levels for the two fabrics. Data was compiled and analysed using Microsoft Excel 2010.
Results: Two different types of fabrics namely Poplin and Terrycot were used in the hospital for making Kurta and Pyjama. It was observed that Kurta made of Terrycot was able to withstand 35.7 washes and Pyjama was able to withstand 46.1 whereas the Kurta and Pyjama made up of poplin were able to withstand only 18.6 and 19.3 washes respectively. The cost effective analysis revealed that the poplin kurta (patient kurta) costs the hospital Rs.10.64 per use and poplin pyjama (patient pyjama) costs the hospital Rs.9.30 per use. On the other hand, the cost of using Terrycot kurta and pyjama were Rs.7.28 per use and Rs.5.42 per use respectively. User satisfaction was taken by informal interview from the patient and staff and it was observed that satisfaction was more for Terrycot.  
Conclusion: The study concludes that the type of fabric being used for hospital linen plays an important role in cost containment and enhanced satisfaction of users. 
Key world: Linen, cost effectiveness, fabric durability, staff satisfaction.
Conflict of interest: None 
Source of support: Nil 
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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