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The Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) has opened its accreditation standards for public comment June 1 to July 31. The standards document titled, “Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for Use In Healthcare Facilities,” was first published in April 2006 and can be viewed and downloaded at www.hlacnet.org. All professionals who serve the healthcare market or use healthcare textiles are encouraged to comment on HLAC’s standards. All comments should be submitted online at the aforementioned Web site.
HLAC standards were developed more than three years ago with input from a wide range of authorities — governmental agencies, industry trade associations, laundry owners and operators, users of healthcare textiles and others serving the healthcare industry. The standards cover the complete textile processing cycle from handling and transporting soiled healthcare textiles to in-plant processing and delivery back to customers. The standards also cover many basic considerations such as facility layout, employee training, customer service and exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
The primary benefit of accreditation is that an independent third party has inspected your laundry provider and found that it meets or exceeds the highest standards for processing healthcare textiles. A laundry cannot inspect and accredit itself and its customers generally do not have the time or expertise to conduct inspections.
The HLAC accreditation process was developed by several industry organizations, including the Association of Linen Management (ALM), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the International Association for Healthcare Textile Management (IAHTM), and the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA).