Visiting a potential healthcare laundry is a must for professionals charged with ensuring that clean textiles arrive at a facility free of contamination, says Gregory Gicewicz, board president of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC).
In a newly published article, "Plant, Personnel, Process: Evaluating the Healthcare Laundry," Gicewicz writes that such visits "should include relevant representatives from environmental services and infection prevention. During the visit, focus on the three P's: the plant, the personnel and the process."
HLAC is a nonprofit organization formed for the purpose of inspecting and accrediting laundries processing healthcare textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.
In his article, published in EXPLORE Magazine (published by the Association of the Healthcare Environment), Gicewicz outlines pertinent questions that need to be addressed within each category. For example, regarding the plant, he looks at matters ranging from workflow to policies and procedures for cleaning and maintaining the plant and its equipment. Discussing personnel, he emphasizes the need for employees at all levels to be focused on patient safety and service quality. And, regarding the process, he recommends learning how the provider ensures that washed healthcare textiles become hygienically clean.
Comprehensive detail on what to look for during a visit to a laundry provider can be found in the newly revised HLAC document, "Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for Use in Healthcare Facilities - 2016 Edition," which is now available for viewing and downloading at www.hlacnet.org. The new standards go into effect Jan. 1, 2016.
The newly revised standards document 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."