Linen Par Level Management

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Setting up unit / department par levels can be a timely task, but one that is important for the management of linen. You need to do this no matter what type of distribution system you use, exchange carts or stocking. One goal of managing par levels is to ensure that the unit’s daily needs are met. Another goal is to minimize overstocking and to keep the flow of linen rotating.

Par levels are based on a specific standard formula:

Unit par level = Daily average usage X a safety stock (1.25) X the number of days supply is needed.

For example, if on a daily average you use 30 flat sheets and you get a cart daily the formula would look something like this:


EXAMPLE: When usage is known

Average Daily Usage = 30

Safety Stock = 1.25

# of Days Usage on Cart = 1

Formula: 30 × 1.25 × 1 = 37.50 rounded to 40 Par Level

Safety Stock Factor Range 1.25 – 1.30


EXAMPLE: When usage is unknown

Sheets – Normal Usage per Inpatient Day = 1

36-Bed Unit, Average Daily Census = 28

Safety Stock = 1.25

# of Days Usage on Cart = 1

Formula: 1 × 28 × 1.25 × 1 = 35 Par Level

For maximum census: 1 × 36 × 1.25 × 1 = 45 Par Level

Safety Stock Factor Range 1.25 – 1.30


If you currently do not use a linen management software program or tack daily usage you can do a two week usage study in order to know your daily average usage.


After par levels are set they should be reviewed on a quarterly basis or sooner if a unit is constantly running short on linen or too much of an item is left on cart or on the shelf at the end of the 24 hour period. Par levels directly affect how much linen is used per patient. If extra linen is placed on the cart, then it is more is likely to be used or abused. The domino effect is that pounds per adjusted patient days / pounds per patient days go up and you get further and further away from your goals and cost saving potential.


Karen Landers Mills

Midwest Laundry, Inc.

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