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The Problem with Red Bags

Hospital’s err on the side of caution and train staff to dispose of contaminated linen as Red Bag waste.

  • Assuming the linen cannot be cleaned, staff dispose of it as Red Bag waste
  • Attempting to “alert” the laundry that the linen is heavily contaminated hospital personnel place linen in Red Bags
  • Lack of understanding regarding the process utilized by professional laundry operators
  • Pounds of linen are¬†unnecessarily discarded as waste in over 5,724 US hospitals daily
  • Hospitals pay between 18 – 33 cents per pound to dispose of Red Bag waste…unnecessarily!
  • The problem is compounded by the cost of replacing the discarded linen

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HLAC Touts Benefits of Accreditation At ARTA Education Conference

FRANKFORT, IL ¬≠- March 13, 2014 – From a commercial laundry’s point of view, quality improvement, customer satisfaction and patient safety are the Top 3 reasons for why a laundry should pursue accreditation, according to Rocco Romeo, immediate past president and current board member of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC). “Accredited laundries are committed to excellence and leaders in the industry in their support of standards, raising the bar and industry self-regulation,” Romeo said. “Every department process has been studied, benchmarked, adjusted and improved as a result.”

Regarding quality improvement, among the benefits of accreditation are:

  • consistent results in cleanliness
  • better customer communication
  • increased competencies regarding laundry science.

“There is a heightened awareness and integration of healthcare protocols at the laundry,” he said. As for customer satisfaction, Romeo noted that healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly aware of accreditation programs like HLAC’s.

And, regarding patient safety, Romeo told conference attendees that HLAC standards are developed from both laundry operations and infection prevention expertise. “Our entire process of accreditation is based on fundamentally sound principles intended to provide the highest level of ongoing assurance.”

About HLAC

The Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) is a nonprofit organization formed for the purpose of inspecting and accrediting laundries processing healthcare textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. Click here to learn more about HLAC.