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Whether you run a small or sizable facility, excellent laundry hygiene is vital to maintaining a safe healthcare environment. It allows you to control infection and diseases, delivering adequate protection for healthcare providers and patients. Although the laundry hygiene process may seem simple, getting each step correct is critical for satisfactory results.
Here are some ways to ensure proper laundry hygiene for active infection and disease control.
1. Effective Antimicrobial Action
Antimicrobial action is a collective name for all active agents that inhibit bacterial growth, prevent microbial colony formation, and destroy microorganisms. This action features three primary elements, including mechanical, thermal, and chemical, in the laundering process. Water eliminates considerable microorganism quantities through agitation and dilution, enhancing hygiene. Detergents and soaps suspend soils while simultaneously exhibiting some microbicidal properties.
Hot water, typically at a minimum 160°F (71°C) temperature, effectively destroys microorganisms. It is advisable to conduct hot-water washing for at least 25 minutes, which you can get via a separate booster heater or steam jet. Chlorine bleach is the common chemical element used in laundry hygiene, activating at water temperatures ranging between 135°F and 145°F (57.2°C and 62.7°C).
Notably, the final rinse cycle incorporates adding mild acid that neutralizes any alkalinity in the soap, water supply, or detergent. Besides, the quick pH change from around 12 to 5 effectively inactivates certain microorganisms. Removing residual alkali from textiles allows you to minimize the risk for skin reactions among your patients.
2. Proper Bed Management
Establishing proper bed management involves a practical bed to bed process involving removing personal items and soiled linens from a patient’s room. It includes processing the linens through the laundry system before returning clean personals and fabrics to the room. The systematic procedure ensures limiting exposure to microorganisms and airborne contaminants to designated areas. As a result, you can also manage the different cleaning stages more comfortably for efficient and thorough maintenance and hygiene.
Aside from these, the process also features appropriately storing the clean linens in the wards for use. You can keep the materials uncovered in a pristine location for short periods, such as when the utility is within a few hours.
3. Disinfecting Cleaning Supplies
You can control infection and diseases by keeping your cleaning equipment hygienic. The cleaning cloths and mops feature a microfiber designed with tightly woven nylon and polyester fibers. These fibers utilize a static charge to trap dust and dirt, leaving you with a deeply cleaned environment using minimal chemicals.
Specialist programs can effectively launder these cleaning supplies to offer quality protection against the spread of microorganisms. They include different cleaning systems such as fast cycles, specific temperatures, and efficient draining. These measures ensure that your cleaning cloths and mops clean your facility without inadvertently spreading contaminants and increasing infection risks.
4. Functional Packaging
It is essential to have functional storage and packaging systems that facilitate hygiene when handling clean and soiled laundry. When you obtain clean linens from an off-site laundry site, proper packaging is necessary before transportation. This step helps prevent contamination when loading, delivering, and unloading the fabrics.
One of the ways you can achieve adequate laundry packaging is by putting clean linen in a hamper lined with a previously unused fabric. After this, you cover or close the package. Another packaging method is putting clean linen in a thoroughly cleaned cart and covering it with a disposable material. Alternatively, you can cover it using an adequately cleaned and reusable fabric that you can secure to the cart. The last packaging style you can utilize is wrapping individual bundles of clean fabrics in plastic or other appropriate material before taping or sealing them.
5. Standard Precautions
Besides the systematic laundry procedures, it is crucial to adhere to standard precautions for practical and durable infection and disease control. These precautions include practicing hand hygiene before and after contact with patients, waste management, and reprocessing reusable instruments. It is also best to utilize personal protective equipment such as impermeable gowns, gloves, masks, plastic aprons, eye protection, and face shields.
In conclusion, the tips given above enable you to take the necessary precautions to control infection and diseases. The points ensure that healthcare systems or laundry service providers can effectively eliminate germs and bacteria in laundry processes. You can prevent microorganism transfer and contamination, keeping your premises safe and hygienic for patients and workers.