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With a call to make sure your laundry is accredited, the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) made a strong case for how healthcare professionals can prevent contamination of their textiles. The call to action was made during remarks at EXCHANGE 2014, the Association for the Healthcare Environment annual educational event held recently in Tampa, Fla.
"Our job is to ensure that every piece of linen that touches a patient is free from contamination," says Gregory Gicewicz, president of HLAC, which inspects and accredits healthcare laundries. "HLAC is the only accrediting body whose sole purpose is to inspect and accredit laundries that process healthcare textiles. Hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare facilities should demand from their laundries the highest standards in the processing of their textiles - standards that cover the complete textile processing cycle, from handling and transporting, to laundering and finishing, and customer service. Make sure you're accredited - or at least in the process of becoming accredited."
Gicewicz made his comments during an EXCHANGE presentation, "Preventing Contamination of Healthcare Textiles," to Environmental Services professionals. He shared the stage with Lynne M. Sehulster, PhD, M(ASCP), an infectious diseases health scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke on factors that can impact cleanliness.
In his remarks, Gicewicz tracked "a day in the life of a hospital towel," from the time the towel is used at a hospital, transported to a healthcare laundry for processing, and returned to the hospital for use with a patient. "This is a long, elaborate process where there exist numerous possibilities for linen contamination," he says. "Following HLAC Standards ensures that many of these risks are minimized. It's only through HLAC accreditation that you can ensure that the most rigorous laundry standards for patient safety and infection are followed."
Source: Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC)