"The medical supply stores gain quality and save costs"
Managing director Ronald van de Grift of RehaWash Systems on the strengths of automated
Safe and validated hygiene is becoming increasingly important in all areas of care - including home care. Therefore, Burmeier successfully cooperates with RehaWash Systems. The company from Weißwasser in Saxony manufactures ultra-modern washing systems for the automatic reprocessing of care beds. Ronald van de Grift, one of the two managing directors, explains the strengths and plans of his company in an interview with the FORUM team.
Mr van de Grift, please briefly describe the history of RehaWash Systems since its founding in 2001.
The original idea came from Rainer Kluge, who is still our plant manager today. He had acquired a patent in the USA for a technology for automated reprocessing. In Germany he developed it into a medical device – a cleaning system for wheelchairs. This first system was still made of plastic. Three or four years later, Mr. Kluge switched to stainless steel and developed larger models suitable for beds and medical equipment. In 2007 Bert Vennik took over the company, in 2016 I joined as second owner and managing director. We are both Dutch.
RehaWash Systems still produces in Germany.
Yes, from the beginning our company has been operating in Weißwasser in the far east of Germany. We currently have ten employees. We are a small company with big ambitions. We develop and produce our products ourselves. Since 2016 we have been working on establishing an international sales network with partners.
In which countries are you active?
Today we have dealers in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania and China. Germany is our main market, but other countries are also very strong – in Denmark, for example, we are the largest supplier of reprocessing systems.
RehaWash Systems cooperate successfully with Burmeier. Which area of machine-washable beds is currently more important for you – home care or hospitals?
Clearly home care, medical supply stores are our most important customers. We are currently still developing the hospital sector.
What advantages do medical supply stores have if they rely on automated instead of manual reprocessing?
With our systems, the beds are 100 percent clean and disinfected. We offer a validated quality that cannot be achieved with manual cleaning. In addition, automated reprocessing is less expensive. Our machines are in use for eight to ten years and have already paid for themselves after one and a half to two years. The medical supply stores save manpower, and our systems are faster than people. An employee needs 30 to 45 minutes to prepare a care bed by hand. Our washing system does this work in 12 to 15 minutes.
What are the advantages of the cooperation between RehaWash and Burmeier?
We have a big brother! Of course, we profit from the large network and the high sales figures of Burmeier. On the other hand, we provide good arguments for the sale of Burmeier's machine washable beds. Together we offer a concept to show the medical supply stores that they gain quality and save costs.
What technical plans does RehaWash have for the future?
Our systems already have strong advantages today: they clean the beds at comparatively low temperatures and low pressure. This protects the beds and saves energy. Here we are striving for further improvements. Another important future project is the networking of our machines. We plan to carry out maintenance from Weißwasser by establishing a digital connection with the systems. We are also working on an automatic connection between the bed and the system. With the help of chips, the machine will recognise the bed and select the appropriate washing program.
Can customers still meet RehaWash Systems at trade fairs in 2019?
At the REHACARE in September in Düsseldorf we will be represented with our own stand as well as with our washing system at the Burmeier stand.