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Ideas That Work: Wrap Patients in Reflective Blankets
Space Blanket
REFLECTIVE HEAT Reflective blankets reduce heat loss when a patient is transferred from one care area to another.   |   Houston Physicians’ Hospital
When linens were in short supply during COVID-19, staff at Houston Physicians’ Hospital (HPH) struggled to procure enough cotton blankets to keep their patients warm. When they reached out to vendors to try to obtain more blankets, they discovered the $15 they were spending on linen costs per patient could be cut in half by switching to reflective warming blankets, which are placed on patients in the preoperative area and stored under stretchers once patients are moved to the operating room. The recovery team then uses the reflective blankets to warm patients during post-anesthesia care. Reflective blankets are more effective than cotton blankets at keeping patients warm, and improve patient comfort and satisfaction, according to Karen Acosta, MSN, RN, CNOR, the hospital’s director of surgical services. “What started out as a problem caused by not having enough linen to care for patients turned into a cost-savings solution,” she says. “We reduced linen waste and gained the potential to improve patient outcomes. It was a win for our patients and for the facility.”