Emphasis on Process, Third-party Validation and Outcome-based Testing

Universal Linen Services, a family owned and operated linen provider headquartered in London, Kentucky, has been has been certified Hygienically Clean for Healthcare. Hygienically Clean is the quantified, validated standard and measure for hygienically clean textiles in North America since 2011, and this certification reflects this laundry’s commitment to best management practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by on-site inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing.

The Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification confirms the organization’s continuing dedication to infection prevention, compliance with recognized industry standards and processing healthcare textiles using BMPs as described in its quality assurance documentation, a focal point for Hygienically Clean inspectors’ evaluation. The independent, third-party inspection must also confirm essential evidence that:
• Employees are properly trained and protected
• Managers understand regulatory requirements
• OSHA-compliant
• Physical plant operates effectively

To achieve certification initially, laundries pass three rounds of outcome-based microbial testing, indicating that their processes are producing Hygienically Clean Healthcare textiles and diminished presence of yeast, mold and harmful bacteria. They also must pass a facility inspection. To maintain their certification, they must pass quarterly testing to ensure that as laundry conditions change, such as water quality, textile fabric composition and wash chemistry, laundered product quality is consistently maintained. Re-inspection occurs every two to three years.
This process eliminates subjectivity by focusing on outcomes and results that verify textiles cleaned in these facilities meet appropriate hygienically clean standards and BMPs for hospitals, surgery centers, medical offices, nursing homes and other medical facilities.
Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification acknowledges laundries’ effectiveness in protecting healthcare operations by verifying quality control procedures in linen, uniform and facility services operations related to the handling of textiles containing blood and other potentially infectious materials.
Certified laundries use processes, chemicals and BMPs acknowledged by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, American National Standards Institute and others. Introduced in 2012, Hygienically Clean Healthcare brought to North America the international cleanliness standards for healthcare linens and garments used worldwide by the Certification Association for Professional Textile Services and the European Committee for Standardization.
Objective experts in epidemiology, infection control, nursing and other healthcare professions work with Hygienically Clean launderers to ensure the certification continues to enforce the highest standards for producing clean healthcare textiles.
“Congratulations to Universal Linen Service on their certification,” said Joseph Ricci, TRSA president and CEO. “This achievement proves their commitment to infection prevention and that their laundry takes every step possible to prevent human illness.”

For information on Hygienically Clean and other TRSA certification programs, contact Angela Freeman, manager, certification programs at 703.519.0029, ext. 111, or email afreeman@trsa.org.

ABOUT HYGIENICALLY CLEAN
Hygienically Clean certification is the fastest growing and most recognized international standard for processing healthcare linens and garments. The Hygienically Clean microbial standard (laundries must pass quarterly RODAC and semi-annual USP 62 testing – RODAC results less than or equal to 20 cfu per square decimeter and USP 62 results must show absence of microbial quality as per test 62) is based on the most stringent European standard. This combination of process and outcome measures ensures textiles cleaned in certified facilities meet standards appropriate for businesses that use them, with specialty certifications (Hygienically Clean Food Safety, Hygienically Clean Food Service, Hygienically Clean Healthcare, Hygienically Clean Hospitality). For more than 106 years, TRSA, as the Association for Linen, Uniform and Facility Services has represented the interests and facilitated continuous process improvements for companies that supply, launder and maintain linens and uniforms. For access to certification-specific resources and training created by the TRSA healthcare committee and the Hygienically Clean Advisory board, visit www.hygienicallyclean.org.