Fact: Surgical and healthcare linens carry the risk of transferring healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Even the most conscientious cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and surfaces does not completely eliminate the risk of surgical and other medical linens being prime carriers of dangerous pathogens. What additional safeguards do you have in place for your linens against these harmful HAIs?
Healthcare Associated Infections, or HAIs, cover a wide range of infections that patients acquire while receiving medical and/or surgical care. During invasive procedures, patients are exposed to different infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, infections on the site of surgery, urinary tract infections associated with catheter insertions, and Clostridium difficile which is associated with the mishandling of soiled linens.
C. difficile spores are particularly challenging as they are immune to common surface disinfecting methods and substances and the spores can spread even after the symptoms of infection have vanished.
The biggest culprit in hospital cross-contaminations related to surgical linens lies mainly in the mishandling of the soiled linens. Standards on healthcare linen hygiene, such as the standards set by OSHA, define contaminated laundry as any laundry that has been soiled with blood or other infectious materials (i.e. bodily fluids). They may also include healthcare and surgical linens that have been exposed to sharps (i.e. used syringes).
There are four main parts of OSHA standards in handling contaminated linens:
The right medical linen service provider takes care of the transporting and sorting, as well as the entirety of the laundry process that the linens go through.
The ideal linen service provider should not only understand the guidelines set by the OSHA and other similar bodies, but is also accredited by a recognized body like the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council. The HLAC is a specialized inspection and accreditation body for laundry companies specializing in the processing of reusable healthcare linens such as surgical linens.
With an HLAC accreditation, patients and medical professionals alike get the guarantee that their linen service provider follows industry-approved, safe, and sanitary procedures in the sorting and washing of the linens.
The ideal medical linen specialist also understands the importance of proper packaging and transportation of clean laundry from their plants back to the healthcare facility – ensuring that these clean linens do not get into contact nor are exposed to contaminants from soiled linens.
Ensuring the hygiene and safety of surgical and other healthcare linens is a long, complex process but it’s easily achievable with the help of the right linen service partner. Entrust your surgical linen care to Crown Healthcare!
Our facility and personnel are dedicated to the care and maintenance of healthcare linens. We abide by the strictest standards set for the laundering of medical linens and ensure that our operations are efficient and convenient from pick-up to delivery.
Learn more about our laundry process, quality control system, and about what we can do for your surgical linens and the rest of your healthcare linens. Contact us at 1-844-383-7500 today!
We have seven processing facilities spanning Florida, Georgia,
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina.