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TRSA, a leading global textile services trade association, announces it has updated its Hygienically Clean Healthcare Certification standard to address care and use of exchange carts, a long-time industry practice for the safe delivery and storage of clean linens between commercial laundries and healthcare facilities.
The Hygienically Clean Advisory Council consulted with launderers as well as professionals in clinical management, epidemiology and process analysis. TRSA members conducted dozens of tests of microbial content on exchange carts and linen to confirm the use of best practices and attested to their techniques for loading, unloading and other handling of these carts.
“These updates document that best practices used by laundries processing healthcare linen verified through testing ensure the safety of patients and hospital and laundry workers. This is consistent with TRSA’s history of quickly responding to and taking necessary action to reassure commercial laundry customers,” said Doug Waldman, chairman of TRSA’s board of directors and a member of the council, which determines the standards and policies for the certification programs.
The expanded certification language covers requirements for housekeeping and cleaning; transporting and delivering clean, unused linens retrieved from customer locations; inspecting, counting, rotating and restocking linen; and more. TRSA recommends all commercial laundries adopt these practices. Hygienically Clean Healthcare certified laundries will be inspected to ensure these and other practices added to the standard are implemented.
According to Joseph Ricci, president and CEO of TRSA, the Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification offers a holistic approach to producing and maintaining hygienically clean linens. “In consultation with our laundry operator members and other hygiene experts, we’ve now specified certification language related to the use of exchange carts,” said Ricci.
TRSA is investigating the addition of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing on exchange carts and laundry work surfaces to its standard for Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification.
In addition to Waldman, Hygienically Clean Advisory Council members are:
• Randy Bartsch, CEO, Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Inc., Seattle
• James Buckman, Director, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Cintas Corp., Cincinnati
• Linda Burgman, Vice President, CleanCare, Pittsburgh
• Alexis M. Elward, MD, Pediatric Infectious Disease, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis
• David F. Goldsmith, MSPH, PhD, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Washington
• Jack Heaviside, National Sales & Service Manager, Sunburst Chemicals, Inc., Bloomington, Minn.
• Rick Kislia, Chief Operating Officer, Crescent Laundry, Davenport, Iowa
• Kevin McLaren, Director, Research and Development, Gurtler Industries, South Holland, Ill.
• Lynn A. Moreau, RN, BSN, Clinical Liaison Manager, HandCraft Linen Services, Richmond, Va.
• Gerard O’Neill, President/CEO, American Laundry Systems, Haverhill, Mass.
• Michael Potack, President, Unitex Textile Rental Services, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
• Robert Raphael. Co-President, Service Linen Supply Inc., Renton, Wash.
• David J. Stern, President & CEO, Paris Companies, DuBois, Pa.
TRSA Hygienically Clean certifications recognize textile services companies’ commitment to cleanliness through laundry plant inspection and third-party, quantified biological testing. Inspection and re-inspection verify that items are washed, dried, ironed, packed, transported and delivered using best management practices (BMPs) to meet key disinfection criteria. Between inspections, ongoing microbial testing quantifies cleanliness and indicates laundry process adjustments. This combination of process and outcome measures ensures textiles cleaned in certified facilities meet standards appropriate for businesses that use them, with specialty certifications (Hygienically Clean Healthcare, Hygienically Clean Food Safety, Hygienically Clean Food Service) and a universal designation (Hygienically Clean) for other laundry market segments.