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Following last week's Clean 2015 show, the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) is reporting increased interest in the importance of healthcare laundry accreditation and standards as part of a hospital's infection prevention strategy.
"Traffic visiting our booth told us more hospitals are requiring accreditation," says HLAC board president Gregory Gicewicz. "Attendees representing healthcare laundries told us they're receiving RFPs from hospitals specifying 'accreditation' as a requirement to be considered as a vendor. And this phenomenon isn't limited to U.S. hospitals: We heard from a number of international laundry operators who are considering accreditation."
At the show, which was held in Atlanta, April 16-19, HLAC provided on a portable drive a copy of its newly revised standards document to visitors to its booth. The 60-plus page document, "Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for Use in Healthcare Facilities - 2016 Edition," will be available at www.hlacnet.org in May and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016.
At a show breakfast sponsored by HLAC and the American Reusable Textile Association, Gicewicz reminded attendees of the seriousness of the challenge brought by hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). He acknowledged those breakfast attendees who are accredited launderers and thanked them for going through the rigorous process to combat HAIs in the name of patient safety. And he noted that HLAC's newly revised standards document recently received the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Seal of Recognition™.
"The AORN Seal of Recognition confirms that the content of the document has undergone thorough review by AORN and meets the guidelines of the 'AORN Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices,'" Gicewicz says. "It's another reason HLAC accreditation is becoming increasingly held in such high esteem by healthcare decision-makers."
The HLAC Accreditation Standards are established as the minimum acceptable practice for the preparation of hygienically clean, reusable healthcare textiles for patient care, implemented and executed by accredited laundry facilities processing reusable healthcare textiles. The document covers the complete textile processing cycle: from handling and transporting to laundering and finishing to customer service. Special attention has been directed to laundry processes directly related to patient safety and OSHA required practices, including bloodborne pathogen exposure control standards.
Source: Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC)