Healthcare Laundry: The Process and Potential for HAI Prevention

January 28, 2015

Report Summary

This report addresses the concept of "hygienically clean" healthcare textiles, explores the healthcare laundry process, and reviews reports of infections associated with contaminated healthcare textiles. It also provides some instruction on best practices from regulatory agencies and associations.

Editor's Take

One of the possible vehicles of transmission is inanimate fomites such as textiles. When textiles are heavily contaminated with potentially infective body substances, they can contain significant bacterial loads; however, the incidence of healthcare-associated infections transmitted from hospital linen is very low especially when evaluated in the context of the volume of items laundered in healthcare settings (estimated to be 5 billion pounds annually in the United States). Some experts say it is obvious that the various existing control measures for hospital laundry are effective in reducing the risk of disease transmission to patients and staff. Therefore, use of current control measures should be continued to minimize the contribution of contaminated laundry to the incidence of HAIs.

Takeaways for Your Business

  • Learn about proper healthcare textiles management
  • Review the steps of the healthcare laundry process
  • Discover what studies say about disease transmission from soiled linen