Feature Infection Prevention

A Hospital Safety Risk Assessment Process for Linen Management

By: ImageFIRST Tips & Advice, Sep 23, 2020

ImageFIRST is on a mission to help hospitals and healthcare facilities manage linen and mitigate the risk of infection in the most effective way possible. Since currently there are no universally defined requirements for managing linen – despite an ever growing need to ensure the health and safety for patients as well as healthcare workers – ImageFIRST is leveraging its decades of knowledge and industry-leading standards to create and provide a free hospital safety risk assessment for any healthcare facilities that want it.

According to The Joint Commission, “Organizations are expected to develop their linen cleaning, storage and management requirements in accordance with evidence-based sources (see IC.01.05.01 EP 1) such as the CDC, the National Association of Institutional Linen Management and/or the local or state authority having jurisdiction.” This can leave healthcare facilities unsure of how to best create a linen management system, cause inconsistencies, or even allow for lapses in inventory. ImageFIRST can help avoid these potential pitfalls before they happen, and also help improve overall hospital linen risk assessment processes.

To that end, we created the resource below to help administrators understand what this assessment is and how it can help.

What is the Linen Risk Assessment?

ImageFIRST has developed a survey to fully evaluate and identify your linen infection prevention compliance and potential risks, and then offer solutions.

The goal of this program is to help create and improve hospital linen risk assessment processes and, as a result, help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. This unbiased analysis helps healthcare facilities understand if their linen is compliant with infection prevention recommendations and regulations from organizations like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), , the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC). The resulting customized report will highlight potential areas the facility can improve upon or make changes to in order to be compliant with the aforementioned organizations.

Why Do I Need Linen Risk Assessment and How Can It Help My Facility?

The Joint Commission states that hospitals and healthcare facilities should conduct a risk assessment to determine whether linen management processes are compliant and working as they should. The CDC also recommends conducting a proactive risk assessmentthat examines a healthcare facility’s process in detail, including, “sequencing of events, actual and potential risks, and failure or points of vulnerability and that prioritizes, through a logical process, areas for improvement based on the actual or potential impact (that is, criticality) of care, treatment, or services provided.”

This assessment can help facilities identify potential risk as well as educate them on the CDC  guidelines.

For instance, did you know that:

  • The CDC states that both dry cleaning and home laundering are ineffective in reducing bacteria and viruses on linens
  • The CDC specifies that detergents used for healthcare laundry should be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The CDC recommends that clean linen be transported and stored by methods that ensure its cleanliness
  • AORN recommends that linen transport devices, such as carts and hampers, be cleaned prior to accepting newly processed linens (although carts do not need to be cleaned prior to accepting linens if they have a clean liner that can protect the linens in storage and transfer)
  • OSHA prohibits the home laundering and disinfecting of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as lab coats, gowns and scrubs

The ImageFIRST hospital safety linen risk assessment reviews these points as well as others and provides a complete report.

Sign Up for Your Complimentary Hospital Safety Linen Risk Assessment

ImageFIRST is the leading national provider of linen rental and laundry services for the healthcare industry. Our complimentary linen risk assessment is designed to help the healthcare industry identify and mitigate risk and improve linen and laundry standards and processes. Click here to sign up for your free hospital safety linen risk assessment.

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