Education, Training, and Accreditation for your Healthcare Laundry

Education, Training, and Accreditation for your Healthcare Laundry

During any given hospital stay, patients spend most, if not all, of their time in bed. That means they are surrounded all day with hospital linens. From their gown to their sheets and blankets patients have more contact with these items than anything else in the hospital.

It is an understatement to say that laundered goods that come into contact with patients during a hospital stay must be clean and therefore unable to pass along any germs that can cause secondary or hospital acquired infections. Of course, a layperson that has no training or expertise in the area wouldn’t be expected to know this important information. Therefore, education and training become critical for those who work in a healthcare laundry.

Immediately after hiring and prior to beginning work, each team member must be provided with the information they need to be successful at their new workplace. Educating employees about the importance of proper laundry handling, sanitizing procedures, and PPE use are just a few of the important things that any prospective employee needs to understand before beginning work in a hospital laundry.

After being educated about the importance of the hospital laundry, any employee that will handle goods for the laundry (either soiled or laundered) must be properly trained. Training is the functional counterpart to education and should be regularly reviewed and renewed so that best practices are adhered to. Basic level training can include things like recognizing the signs of potential cross contamination during the course of their working day and understanding the reasons why clean and soiled laundry are kept in separate carts in different areas of the laundry as well as safely operating the equipment and quality standards.

Finally, after implementing an education and training program, your hospital laundry can prepare for accreditation. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (The CDC) publishes a set of best practices, there are other organizations that offer accreditation for facilities that process reusable textiles for hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Organizations like HLAC and the TRSA’s Hygenically Clean program provide certifications that ensure that your facility is positioned to maximize credibility by adhering to internationally recognized standards of cleanliness, putting you at a competitive advantage. Accreditation shows that you are serious about:

  • Patient Safety
    • Accredited laundries are part of the safety solution in healthcare’s effort to provide patients with the best in care.
  • Quality and Excellence
    • Meeting and maintaining accreditation standards means a laundry has committed to a new level of excellence in the way it processes healthcare textiles.
  • Credibility
    • Certification acknowledges management’s concern for “green” techniques, cleanliness and safety, creating a halo effect that positively influences the customer’s perceptions of the laundry’s approach to other aspects of its business.
  • Knowledge
    • Adherence to standards testifies to the skill and knowledge of the teams who run the textile service operations that earn certification.

Healthcare businesses that use external textile services require their vendors to provide the highest possible level of textile cleanliness. Working with an accredited laundry service reassures them that their laundered goods meet their efforts to maximize hygiene in their healthcare facility. With the credibility that a certified commercial laundry can offer, textile laundry service professionals are recognized for their dedication to preventing contamination from spreading.

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