The Importance of Correctly Handling Healthcare Items in your Commercial Laundry
Of all the least favorite places to be, a hospital is likely the last place you’d like to spend time. However, hospitals provide a necessary service and it’s important the all aspects of the healthcare system work to ensure you leave in better health than you arrived. Proper procedures are essential in a healthcare laundry in order to ensure the safety and well-being of patients and healthcare workers. A healthcare laundry is responsible for processing a wide variety of items, including bed linens, towels, patient gowns, and scrubs, and it is essential that these items are properly cleaned and handled to minimize the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of infection.
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.
Our grandmothers were right. They grew up during the depression and tried to teach us to repair what we had, to take care of our things. When our generation faced a worldwide pandemic we became much more intimately aware that we should take better care of our things, especially the things that stand between us and disease. Our front line workers have had to battle not having the correct PPE and clean isolation gowns to properly protect themselves due to our inability to provide disposable PPE fast enough and in the quantities that were needed. This is the main reason we need to maintain the ‘old school’ reusable gear, as it’s much more readily available. The time it takes to wash a set of PPE is much less than the time to produce it and reusable PPE is also much more sustainable. As we continue to battle Covid-19 and other emerging diseases this shortage could last for years to come according to the Kaiser Foundation. Worse, reuse of disposable PPE became commonplace during the pandemic, possibly contributing to disease spread. The CDC has published guidelines for this as well, even though reuse is against best practice. Using a combination of washable and disposable PPE should help with the shortfall and keep our front line workers safe.
Great blog post from our friends at DECC. If you’re processing healthcare laundry, you may be experiencing the very problem that they can help you solve: melted plastic inside the dryers. Take a look for more information from DECC:
If you’ve spent anytime at any healthcare facility where patients with suppressed immune systems are being treated, you’ve no doubt heard about the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria that can prove to be fatal for such patients. It seems logical that the best way to combat this problem would be through preventative measures, so let’s go through some steps healthcare facilities can employ to help decrease the risk of patients coming into contact with these superbugs. (more…)