Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Laundry Sanitation Solutions
Of the many threats posed by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, one of the most serious may be the elevated opportunity for hospital-acquired infections, or HAI. As COVID-19 necessitates hospitalizations for many cases, its ease of transmission puts at risk other patients as well as the very healthcare workers sworn to protect those patients. It becomes an absolute necessity, therefore, to attempt to minimize HAI wherever possible.
Effective laundry sanitation is crucial to HAI risk mitigation, and it is vital to prevent further spread of diseases such as the coronavirus. With improper laundry sanitation, you may be unintentionally exposing the individuals in your facility to undue coronavirus infection risk.
Laundry Sanitation & Infection Prevention
Infection prevention is important to all healthcare facilities, even when there isn’t a coronavirus pandemic. And not all laundering meets the stringent cleanliness need of healthcare.
There are major differences between home laundry care and how commercial or industrial laundering is undertaken. The processes in residential laundering are often insufficient to guarantee sheets and linens are completely free from pathogens, as the typical residential linen cleansing agent is often ineffective in killing certain types of bacteria.
Medical facilities must rely on more advanced laundering and sanitation techniques to combat the risk factors they routinely face. These practices must not only address linens that come into contact with COVID-19 patients but also surfaces, medical garments, and personal protective equipment. This is why laundry sanitation solutions for medical facilities must meet, or preferably exceed, guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control, the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council, and the Textile Rental Service Association. Adhering to (and surpassing) these guidelines can help keep patients and staff safe, prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, and ensure COVID-19 patients are provided the best care possible.
Our Laundry Sanitation Procedures for COVID-19 Infection Prevention
ImageFIRST has expansive infection control and safety protocols to provide the highest level of security while managing laundry that may be contaminated with COVID-19. We use a three-step system for interacting with any such linens, designed to protect your facility, its staff and non-coronavirus patients, and our own associates as well. This involves the following:
- Any product potentially contaminated with COVID-19 must be identified, kept separate, and brought to the attention of your ImageFIRST Service Representative.
- Laundry bags containing this product must be securely closed to prevent product from falling out.
- This product must then sit for at least six hours after use by a patient before it can be picked up and taken for sanitation and laundering.
Once ImageFIRST takes possession of a facility’s laundry, we employ our Triple BioShield Protection process, specifically engineered to meet the stringent needs of the healthcare industry. Our laundry sanitation process begins with Ecolab’s AdvaCare Disinfectant, a wash formula agent that kills 99.999% of common pathogens and was the first disinfectant to be certified by the EPA as effective against the novel coronavirus. Next, linen and medical apparel are treated with an EPA-registered bacteriostatic softener to provide an additional layer of protection, inhibiting bacterial growth. Finally, the now clean and dry laundry is wrapped in plastic to protect it during the transportation and distribution process until use.
This process provides our facilities tremendous peace of mind in knowing that the sanitation of their linens is protected by a trusted partner, allowing them to keep their focus exactly where they want it: on their patients.
ImageFIRST Linen Risk Assessment
Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States is ongoing. Regions previously relatively unimpacted by the virus are now facing it head on, and regions beginning to get their infections under control are proactively preparing for a possible second wave of coronavirus.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, healthcare facilities must evaluate the risk level of their current laundry practices. If you are unsure whether your linen management is sufficient to minimize risk, then according to The Joint Commission, conducting a risk assessment is a helpful way of identifying risks. And ImageFIRST can help you determine that with our complimentary Linen Risk Assessment survey.
This survey can help reveal if your facility’s linens program is a risk for infection vector for the coronavirus. If you suspect your facility is in need of COVID-19 laundry sanitation services, contact us to begin this critical assessment today.
Help Prevent COVID-19 with Our Fully Managed Program
The novel coronavirus is a powerful threat in how it often necessitates broad-scale hospitalization, and in its easy transference that creates heightened risk through that hospitalization. This results in pressure on our healthcare facilities to deal with the outbreaks and keep its staff and patients safe. And unfortunately, the virus is far from finished with us yet.
An ongoing pandemic means your facility needs all the help it can get. A fully managed laundry sanitation solution can provide your staff with the help and protection they require to proactively combat the spread of novel coronavirus infection.
ImageFIRST is at the forefront of healthcare laundry sanitation services. Not only can we ensure the highest possible measure of safety, safeguarding against the spread of COVID-19 through our laundry sanitation services, we also provide additional benefits and efficiencies. Our collaborative partnership even includes a local, dedicated representative who will help manage your inventory, to ensure you always have the exact right amount of sanitized linen.
It’s never too early to put sanitation protocols in place to keep your staff and patients safe from HAIs.