Hospital-acquired infections and diseases are ever-present problems in healthcare - so it’s essential to maintain strong health and safety standards. Hospital linens can become contaminated without appearing visibly dirty. In this article we’ll explore why hospital linen storage and management is so important and how you can attain high linen storage standards.
Is your facility following the best practices for hospital linen storage and management? Here are 4 key points to consider as you work to protect your patients and provide a clean environment.
1. Maintain High Standards for Hospital Linen Storage
The hospital linen industry holds high standards for laundry sanitation practices. Standards are set forth by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
Ensure your facility is following the guidelines from these organizations for the best possible infection prevention. Linens should be stored and separated to prevent cross-contamination and continue preserving safety after cleaning. Newly-cleaned items should be bagged in plastic to avoid airborne contamination.
Tips for hospital linen and laundry safety:
- Use dead-on-contact washing that kills 99.99%+ of pathogens
- Add bacteria-inhibiting softeners and treatments
- Conduct hand inspection to double-check cleanliness standards
- Use sanitary plastic wrapping during transportation
- Ensure your laundry partner uses safe storage and delivery procedures
2. Take Precautions and Set Policies
How clear are your cleaning policies for handling contaminated items? Have your employees recently received training to keep their knowledge up to date? Consider whether there is a need for additional staff training on the latest procedures to maintain sanitary linens.
Monitor off-site launderers and request proof of cleaning. Ask to take a tour of their facility so you can see for yourself. Any reputable company will welcome your questions and interest in their methods, and they should be able to demonstrate the results of their high standards.
Within your facility, set policies for the steps to take in multiple scenarios that could threaten health and safety. Create an emergency plan for a sudden infestation of bedbugs, the introduction of a rare parasite, or a public health crisis like another outbreak similar to COVID-19. Ideally, your staff will be able to handle these situations smoothly during a real-world situation due to having a reliable action plan in place.
3. Optimize Your Approach to Hospital Linen Management
The best hospital linen plans go beyond the basics. Your organization deserves a fully individualized and optimized linen strategy that is safe, sustainable, and manageable, while also preserving financial stability.
Adopt sustainable practices designed to address short-term problems while still supporting your long-term vision of preserving public safety and serving the community. Explore inventory management techniques like working with a linen management partner to scale up thoughtfully and affordably.
It’s easier to streamline and optimize your cleaning methods when you work with professional cleaning experts. Below, you can learn more about working with ImageFIRST to improve the safety and reliability of your linen management.
4. Work With a Reputable Hospital Linen Storage Partner
Before choosing a linen partner, check their background and accreditations. Ask for references and feedback from other clients that have worked with them in the past.
Determine whether they offer a full range of hospital linen options, from laundry cleaning to scrub replacement, inventory management, and staff training. Inquire as to how you’ll receive customer service when you need it. Will you have a single point of contact and a dedicated service representative? At ImageFIRST, these are the types of customized services we provide.
Our process leads the industry in meeting rigorous healthcare standards. We use rugged and durable laundry carts, hampers, and lockers to ensure that storing your products is always easy and hassle-free. Closed, controlled cart and hamper designs contain contaminants on the front end, then keep clean items sanitized until they return to you.
You can also opt for an inventory management solution like the VAULTSystemⓇ, which uses a compact digital cabinet to store, track, and dispense scrubs. This simplifies scrub management and ensures your staff always has the right garments on hand, clean, and ready to use.
How to Get Started with Linen Management
We’re proud to share that ImageFIRSTⓇ is the only national healthcare-focused medical linen rental partner that offers agreed-upon pricing for multi-location healthcare partners. ImageFIRST also owns and operates more HLAC-accredited facilities in the U.S. than any other medical linen rental and laundry organization in the business.
This means we can handle even the largest and most challenging healthcare linen cleaning job. Rely on us for safe and affordable hospital linen services.
To learn more about the benefits of choosing ImageFIRST for your hospital linen storage and cleaning, please contact us to share your needs.