If you need to stay overnight at the hospital for an upcoming surgery, you may be anxious about having to wear a gown and sleep on blankets and sheets that aren't from home. To ease your anxieties about germs, take a look at how medical laundry services help to keep patients safe and comfortable.
Many Hospitals Outsource to Services that Specialize in Medical Linens
In the past, many hospitals had their own laundromats and did the laundry in house. However, in-house linens were difficult to manage since the work required specialized laundromat training. Plus, in-house linens tended to get worn down quickly and there was a risk of cross-contamination.
However, many hospitals now outsource this work so that the dirty laundry can be completely removed from the premises. Many laundry delivery services let hospitals rent linens so that the hospital doesn't have to worry about reusing damaged or old linens—it's the service's responsibility to replace worn textiles.
Medical Linen Service Employees Are Specially Trained and Certified
Because the staff at these facilities are dealing with contaminates, they have to be trained and follow OSHA guidelines, so they don't spread potentially infectious material from dirty laundry to clean laundry. Besides OSHA rules, many of these services are required to use cleaning products that meet specific EPA standards. These cleaning products must have the correct chemicals and be washed with the proper temperature and machine agitators.
Lastly, medical services have to meet quality insurance inspections. For instance, the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) inspects laundry services to make sure that reusable textiles are safe for patients and hospital staff.
Your Bed Sheets Will Not Be Mixed in with Other Linen Types
Medical laundry services follow best practices by keeping soiled and clean linens separate. Not only are linens bagged, but they can often be taken to separate locations. If the linens are in the same facility, the service will make sure the airflow system is blowing from the clean area to the dirty linen area.
Not only are linens separated by dirty and clean, but by type. For instance, some services only specialize in one type of linen, like bath blankets. The hospital may then outsource to other specialty services, like blanket-, gown-, uniform/scrub-, and washcloth-specific laundry facilities.
As you can see, while it may be a little unnerving at first to use the hospital's linens, a lot of work goes into sterilizing the linens and keeping them fresh for patient use. Contact a company, like Mckirchy Linen Service, for more help.