Northwest Health Care Linen Receives Healthcare Laundry Accreditation
Bellingham, WA — June 7, 2010 — Northwest Health Care Linen, the comprehensive health care linen service provider for customers in the Puget Sound region since 1992, announces its recent accreditation from the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC). This accreditation serves as a seal of approval for providing hygienically clean textiles to health care customers.
“When you go into a health care facility as a patient, cleanliness is critically important to stopping the spread of bacteria,” said James Hall, CEO of Northwest Health Care Linen. “In this industry, hospitals have no way to measure what you’re doing, apart from the end-product delivered. That’s what this accreditation looks at: how you provide the sanitary laundry that aids in the prevention of bacteria spread and infection.”
The HLAC accreditation process is a compressive review, and it includes an evaluation of written documents, a walk-through and inspection of the facility, employee and management interviews, and more. The HLAC standards focus on a number of aspects of the laundry, with the ultimate goal of protecting clean textiles from soiled textiles at all times during the processing. This protection is a vital component of the accreditation.
“This accreditation gives us a high level of credibility in the industry, setting us apart from those who aren’t currently accredited or who, frankly, aren’t able to meet these high standards,” said Hall.
The HLAC is an independent, non-profit organization formed for the purpose of inspecting and accrediting facilities that process health care textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. HLAC accreditation is valid for three years. After that time, a laundry must be re-inspected to remain accredited. While this accreditation is not currently required of laundry companies serving health care facilities, it will be in the future.
“We voluntarily took the initiative to put ourselves under this microscope now to show those in the Puget Sound region that we are already adhering to these high standards of cleanliness and infection control,” said Hall.
In 2002, Northwest Health Care Linen’s Bellingham facility underwent a significant remodel, vastly improving its ability to serve clients in the Puget Sound region. The company’s space was tripled in size, allowing it to process laundry with greater efficiency. Today, Northwest Health Care Linen’s state-of-the-art technology saves energy by reclaiming wastewater heat, and the company also recycles much of the water used during this process to further reduce energy costs. In addition, the company recently began working with a recycler in Florida that accepts all of Northwest Health Care Linen’s plastic soiled linen bags. This move allowed the company to reduce it’s solid waste stream by 80%.
Northwest Health Care Linen’s service area stretches from Bellingham to Olympia, in facilities varying from single provider practices and surgery centers, to large clinic systems and hospitals. In Whatcom County, the company serves both Pacific Rim Surgery Center and Mount Baker Imaging, as well as several other smaller healthcare providers.
Northwest Health Care Linen is one of four laundries to receive accreditation by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council in Washington State. It is the only one of its kind in the state north of Pierce County to receive this accreditation. For more information on Northwest Health Care Linen, call 360.647.2974 or visit http://nwlinen.com.