While the necessity of an ice machine cannot be overstated for establishments such as restaurants, cafes, and eateries, the importance of ice is far more crucial in a hospital. Be it to compress certain forms of swelling, managing trauma, or rehydration, hospitals are some of the largest consumers of ice alongside eateries. Doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists use ice to help their patients deal with pain. If you’re considering buying an ice machine for your hospital, be sure to go through this post before you make your decision.
Commercial Ice Makers
Ice machines are commercial refrigeration units that produce ice. While the sizes and quantity of ice produced per machine vary, the function remains the same. It is important to select the appropriate size and type of ice machine based on the size & nature of your operation. Another important thing to consider is the type of ice you require. Hospitals mainly require nugget or flake ice due to their softer consistency and similarity to snow. Most hospital ice makers are nugget ice machines and flake ice machines, while conventional ice machines are usually located in hospital cafeterias.
The Importance of Ice in Hospitals
Medical staff utilizes ice for a variety of reasons, including the following:
Management of injuries and swelling
Helping patients rehydrate when they’re unable to swallow
The preparation and application of ice packs in physiotherapy
Hospital ice is mainly available as flake and nugget ice. Both these forms of ice are softer and moldable in a pack and do not rip through the plastic covering. They can also be chewed for rehydration.
Apart from medical requirements, hospitals also require commercial ice machines in their cafeterias and refreshment zones to keep up their standards of patient and employee satisfaction.
Choosing The Right Hospital Ice Maker
Be sure to consider the following characteristics of hospital ice makers before you make your pick:
Type of Hospital Ice Maker
Various types of ice makers exist in the market today with varying mechanisms of ice production, the quantity of ice, and the space occupied. They are:
Water-Cooled: These machines utilize water to condense their condenser coils. These are not very energy-efficient and are better suited to colder climates.
Air-Cooled: Air-cooled hospital ice makers use air to cool down the condenser coils. They’re by far the most energy-efficient and effective ice makers.
Remote: These machines have a separate condenser unit placed away from the dispenser to avoid noise pollution and hampering the hospital ambiance.
Countertop: These are smaller ice makers that dispense ice they make directly into a cup or a vessel. They’re ideally suited for hospital cafeterias and rec rooms.
Modular: These machines are the most efficient at producing the largest quantities of ice. It is an ideal pick for busy hospitals and large establishments.
Size of Hospital Ice Maker
Be sure to account for all of your ice needs, which includes both medical and commercial requirements, before you select a machine. If you’re running a large and busy hospital, consider investing in a modular or stackable ice maker producing large quantities of ice. If you’re running a smaller operation, countertop ice makers that can be placed on nurses’ stations should suffice.
Type of Ice
The types of ice used in hospitals are markedly different from the ice used in commercial establishments. The two main types of hospital ice are-
Nugget Ice: Smaller than conventional ice cubes, nugget ice is also softer in consistency. It can be used to create ice packs for large surface areas and can be chewed on for rehydration.
Flake Ice: Flake ice resembles snow and is smaller than nugget ice. Ice flakes or chips can be chewed on easily, and are ideal for ice packs as they don’t damage the plastic covering.
The Best Ice Machines For Hospitals
Below are a few hospital ice machines, ranked by popularity
Hoshizaki DCM-271BAH Ice Maker/Water Dispenser
The No. 1 brand for hospitality and industrial ice machines, Hoshizaki’s DCM-271BAH gets everything right with its 257lb/24 hours combination ice/water dispenser. The appliance includes a self-contained condenser, a durable stainless-steel exterior, and a 10 lb. storage capacity to store all excess of the popular mini-cube nugget-style ice type. Assuring ADA compliance so that the disabled have easy access, the DCM-271BAH countertop nugget ice machine produces clean ice and comes with all the prerequisites for easy and low maintenance. This includes an H-GUARD Plus Antimicrobial agent, an advanced CleanCycle24 design, and a 3- and 5-year parts and labor warranty. Available on Chef Buyer for $4,135, this commercial ice machine is an excellent addition to your hospital for beverage and palliative purposes alike.
Manitowoc CNF0202A-L Nugget Ice Maker and Dispenser
Manitowoc’s popular CNF0202A-L is an air-cooled countertop commercial nugget ice machine that dispenses a combination of water and up to 261 lbs. of nugget ice per day. Its 20 lb. storage capacity is complemented by a lever-activated dispensing system that makes filling in cups a breeze. Called by Manitowoc as the ‘bite-sized’ nugget, its ice is produced from as little as 10% water, boasting of one of the best ice-water ratios since the first ice maker. Perfect for hospitals, nursing homes, and breakrooms, the CNF0202A-L provides the soft, chewable ice that’s best suited for cold therapy and blended beverages alike. The device comes with a DuraTech front panel, Manitowoc’s own patented cleaning technology, and a space-saving design at a cool $4,519.43. Its larger drain pan ensures spillage is minimized, its conveniently connected water and drain connections ensure easy installation, and a blue LED light even provides visibility in darker or ambient rooms.
Scotsman HID312AB-1 Meridian Countertop Air Cooled Ice and Water Dispenser
This push-button combination machine outperforms other commercial ice makers in the same category with ease. The HID312AB-1 is a countertop Scotsman nugget ice machine that utilizes 12 gallons of water per 100 lbs of ice. Its 12 lb bin is standard for combination dispensers of this size, and its air-cooling engine is capable of producing 260 lbs. of ice over 24 hours of usage. Its design is specially contoured to occupy lesser space on commercial kitchen platforms and serving areas, and its stainless-steel evaporator and removable sink and grill simplify maintenance. The device requires 115V to operate, producing nugget ice and chilled water at a cool 4.9 KwH per 100 lbs of water. Currently sold at $3,813.00, the HID312AB-1 Meridian can be purchased with an optional stainless-steel stand with or without a door.
Manitowoc UFF-0200A Undercounter Flake Ice Machine
The UFF-0200A is a commercial flake ice machine, one of Manitowoc’s best-selling additions to its hospital-centric ice dispenser category. Perfect for compact areas where real estate is limited, its under-counter condenser/dispenser produces a whopping 257 lbs. of perfectly cooled flake ice. Known for their relevance to hospital settings and general superior taste, flake ice is quickly soluble and neatly fits and dissolves into cups, while being the perfect texture and consistency for hospital applications. The machine’s sturdy, rust-resistant exterior comes with a sliding door for ease of access and includes a holding capacity of an impressive 50 lbs. Weighing a mere 60 lbs. in total, the UFF-0200A is the perfect feature for crowded waiting rooms, small inpatient rooms, and breakrooms.
Chef Buyer is dedicated to making your hospital ice machine purchase and experience seamless and easy. Not only do we provide a series of buying guides and support tools to ensure you make the most suitable purchase for your hospital, but we also stock a wide range of hospital ice machines, all available in our online catalog for your easy browsing. Should you have any questions about a product, you can always contact us via email or phone during regular business hours. We’ll do our best to make your purchase the right fit for your hospital!