Fijan S, Sostar-Turk S, Cencic A
SourceJ Hosp Infect 2005 Sep; 61(1)
As textiles sent to hospital laundries contain many types of pathogenic organisms, it is important that laundering not only has an appropriate cleaning effect but also has a satisfactory disinfecting effect. Critical to this process is the maintenance of an appropriate hygiene level in the clean area of laundries in order to prevent recontamination of textiles from manual handling when ironing, folding, packing etc. The aims of this study were to evaluate the hygienic state of a hospital laundry, to introduce continuous sanitary measures, and to introduce a continuous hygiene monitoring system with an infection control programme. Two systems for evaluating hospital laundry hygiene were combined: HACCP principles (hazard analysis and critical control points) and RAL-GZ 992 standards (quality assurance standard for textile care of hospital laundry). Evaluation of the hygienic state of the hospital laundry was carried out by evaluating the number and types of micro-organisms present at the critical control points throughout the whole laundering process, using RODAC agar plates for surface sampling and the pour plate method for investigating water samples. The initial examination showed that the sanitary condition of the laundry did not reach the required hygiene level. Therefore, fundamental sanitation measures were instituted and the examination was repeated. Results were then satisfactory. The most important critical control point was the chemothermal laundering efficiency of the laundering process. To prevent micro-organisms spreading into the entire clean working area, it is important that, in addition to regular sanitary measures such as cleaning/disinfecting all working areas, technical equipment and storage shelves etc., regular education sessions for laundry employees on proper hand hygiene is undertaken and effective separation of the clean and dirty working areas is achieved.
MeshBedding and LinensEnvironmental MonitoringEquipment ContaminationInfection ControlLaundry Service, Hospital
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't