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Categories:  HLAC/Hygienically Clean Infection Control 

The first article (pg. 14), by Kelly M. Pyrek of ICT, discusses the clinical efficacy and usefulness of checklists.  Properly structured and implemented, a checklist in a clinical setting can be just as essential to patient safety as a pilot’s checklist is to the safe operation of an aircraft.  But whereas the pilot’s checklist changes infrequently, a checklist in the healthcare environment can represent a complex set of socio-technical tasks and is in need of constant monitoring, evaluation and, as necessary, revision.

The second article (pg. 8), by John Scherberger, board president of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), warns against the potential high cost of indifference to your linen laundering facility and processes – whether yours or a vendors.  While HAI’s traced to hospital linens are rare, they have occurred; so vigilance is warranted, which brings us back to the idea of checklists.

HLAC (www.hlacnet.org) accreditation is a third-party verification that a launderer is meeting the highest standards for processing healthcare linens and can deliver a hygienically clean product.  It is based on an extensive “checklist”, the long form of which is entitled, Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for Use in Healthcare Facilities.  Constantly monitored, evaluated and updated, the 2016 Edition took effect in January.  HLAC accreditation is the opposite of indifference; it is a structured intervention to assure your linen supply is covered in your patient safety and infection control programs.

In an April 2016 post, we outlined a five-step process for choosing a hospital linen service provider.  Not surprisingly, step one is to verify your potential provider’s HLAC accreditation.  Complete that process for linen peace of mind.


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