How Health Care Laundry Impacts Patient Survival
Patient Safety While many industries have a need to provide clean linens for their clients, for health care professionals properly cleaned laundry can be a matter of life or death.
Between the waiting room and the operating room, a certified commercial laundry service program can help hospitals fight infection and protect patients and staff.
Taken for granted
From bed sheets and gowns to scrubs and lab coats, hospital laundry is exposed to a wide variety of germs and contaminants that could infect vulnerable patients if not processed correctly.
That makes choosing a dependable commercial laundry service crucial to providing optimal health care. Using a certified program can help ensure that health care laundry is thoroughly and efficiently processed to help prevent hospital-acquired infections and keep patients and providers safe.
When a textile services operation is certified by a third-party health care accreditor, it indicates the facility and its employees meet strict quality standards for processing the laundry generated in medical facilities. These requirements often exceed typical industry standards, and the facilities are subject to regular inspections to ensure continued compliance with regulatory guidelines.
One of the biggest challenges for commercial laundry facilities serving the health care community is to make sure potentially hazardous substances, including blood and germs, do not spread or survive to return to the facility.
To earn a certification for hygienic cleanliness, companies are typically subjected to third-party, quantified biological testing and inspection that analyze the quality control procedures in place when cleaning textiles that have blood or other potentially infectious materials on them. This ensures they’re being thoroughly processed to eliminate those threats so infections don’t spread and patients receive the safest linens possible.
“In addition to contaminated textiles that subject workers to blood, infectious materials and sharp medical objects, health care laundry facilities present other potential hazards…”
Certification also confirms that these facilities are employing best management practices, both inside their facilities and with their customers as well.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in addition to contaminated textiles that subject workers to blood, infectious materials and sharp medical objects, health care laundry facilities present other potential hazards, including dangerous chemicals, heat stress, lifting hazards, fire hazards and slips, trips and falls.
Certified laundry facilities have educated and trained their employees and supervisors to identify and address ways to decrease the risk of incidents, as well as recognize and deal with worksite problems if they arise. The fewer onsite issues they have, the better results they can achieve for their customers.
In addition to the exceptional quality and safety surrounding the linen care operations, certified companies have also showed that they provide efficient and dependable operations to their clients, from maintaining proper inventory levels to providing responsive and timely customer service.
It’s all part of a concerted effort by leading laundry facilities to demonstrate their commitment to helping hospitals fight infections and keep their patients and employees healthy and safe.