Non-urgent healthcare organizations and outpatient centers are reopening and scrutinizing their safety and sanitation programs right now. Health institutions and federal and state requirements are urging these healthcare centers to get organized prior to reopening and be diligent about formalizing safety protocols that will impact the wellbeing and comfort levels of staff and patients.
One of the most basic safety protocols to assess is medical apparel and linen laundering. Reusable scrubs, patient gowns, sheets, blankets, and towels are highly susceptible to cross-contamination and the spread of infectious outbreaks if not handled and laundered properly. If you need help assessing your laundry program, read the new eBook: How Safe Is Your Medical Laundry Program and Provider?
Read this blog to understand how HLAC-accredited laundering services can help your outpatient center safely reopen with highly sanitized and laundered medical apparel and linen supplies.
The Risks of Improper Medical Laundering
Outpatient facilities have a choice when it comes to laundering their medical apparel and linens: operate an on-premise laundry facility or outsource the laundry to a vendor. While on-premise laundry is not recommended by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), some healthcare facilities still choose this option which can pose challenges and risks if proper safety protocols are not adhered to:
- Exposing staff and patients to bloodborne pathogens and other hazards
- Spreading infectious diseases to staff, patients, and subsequent family members
- Risking cross-contamination between clean and soiled apparel and linens
Avoiding these high-risks scenarios for your patients and staff, is not only important but requires a comprehensive medical laundering program that carefully considers every precaution.
About HLAC-Accredited Laundering
The Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) is a nonprofit organization that inspects and accredits laundries that process reusable textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities – based on the highest, professionally recognized standards for patient safety and infection prevention. HLAC accreditation means that a laundry meets HLAC Accreditation Standards, which have been developed based on federal regulations and guidelines as well as best industry practices.
HLAC accreditation affirms that a laundry organization that processes healthcare linens has successfully passed an inspection of the following: its facility, policies, procedures, and training programs. It:
- Meets CDC, OSHA, APIC, & Joint Commission Standards
- Eliminates potential for cross-contamination
- Uses state-of-the-art laundering techniques
- Features healthcare-specific facilities and delivery vehicles
- Provides your clinicians and patients with peace of mind
How to Get Started with HLAC-Accredited Laundering
If you leverage on-premise laundering, read HLAC’s laundering guidelines about facility, policies, procedures, and training programs, to ensure you’re following their requirements. If you currently outsource your medical laundry, ask your vendor if they’re HLAC-accredited.
In either scenario, if your outpatient healthcare center needs to switch to an HLAC-accredited medical laundry service, consider Nixon Medical. We’re HLAC-accredited, plus follow many other safety and sanitation methods, including contact-free service, to keep your staff and patients comfortable and safe.
For help assessing the safety of your medical laundry program, read our eBook: How Safe Is Your Medical Laundry Program and Provider?