The Importance of Onsite Laundry at Longterm Care Facilities

It takes a lot to run an assisted living facility or nursing home, and properly doing the laundry in long-term care is an integral part of the operations. From bedsheets, blankets, towels, personal clothing, scrubs, to other types of linens, all laundry has to be properly washed and sanitized on a daily basis.

Hygienic Sanitation Is Key

The name of the game in healthcare laundry service is hygienic sanitation. Potential contaminants in the form of bacteria, germs, and blood-borne pathogens can pose an extremely serious health risk to staff and the already immune compromised health patients. 

There are government regulations in place to make sure that hygiene is maintained that require laundry staff to perform the cleaning to certain specifications. Some of the specifications include:

Laundry Temperature

It is recommended that temperatures exceeding 140 degrees be used when operating washers or dryers. All on-site washing machines need to be programmable to meet government regulations as to temperature. 

These temperature requirements are necessary in order to fully and completely disinfect all of the linens to ensure sanitary conditions and protect the health of everyone.

Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment

All staff handling linens and laundry must wear personal protective equipment, including, but not limited to appropriate clothing and protective eyewear. 

Handling Processes

Handling processes need to be properly performed as bacteria, germs, and blood-borne pathogens can be easily transmitted to the hands of those working with the linen. Many diseases are easily contracted from improper handling processes, including covid-19, and can be spread to staff and patients.

Appropriate Laundry Area

The laundry area in which linens are handled should be properly designed to minimize the risk of contamination and ensure the protection of the patients and staff who handle linens.  

This includes procedural segregation of the clean and dirty items within areas of the laundry room, and hand decontamination facilities, which include liquid soap, disposable paper towels, and a handwashing basin.

Proper Removal of Linen From Patients' Rooms

Great care must be taken when removing linen from a patient's room to be laundered. It is absolutely imperative that people use gloves, and in the age of Covid, face masks, when handling linen directly from the patient's beds or room areas. 

Placing laundry into the proper transport containers and not mixing it with clean laundry in laundry facility areas is also important.

Sanitation Is Critical

These are just some tips that you can keep in mind when you are handling laundry when working in an assisted living facility or nursing home. In order to make sure that staff is in compliance with government regulations, make sure they are properly trained.

Deviance from training procedures can create the risk of sickness or death for staff and patients, so make sure staff understand all of the procedures necessary before they begin.

Laundry Room Assessment

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