To understand the benefits of being accredited by HLAC, you must first ask the questions, “Why an accreditation program at all?” and “Why HLAC?”
Why an Accreditation Program?
This program was developed to meet the desire among many healthcare laundry organizations for an independent inspection and accrediting program that would result in formal recognition (if they passed) acknowledging that the laundry organization meets the high standards for processing healthcare textiles. No current program is as detailed as HLACs, or applies to all types of laundry operations: on-premise, co-op, and commercial. HLAC is not in competition with, nor does it conflict with any other accrediting organization, including JCAHO.
No neutral organization existed that could offer the program desired, so an industry task force created HLAC in July 2005. The HLAC Board of Directors was carefully recruited to represent all interested parties in the healthcare laundry industry: the laundries themselves, their employees, and, most importantly, their healthcare facility customers. No single voice dominates the Board. It is truly independent and works in the best interests of the industry and its customers.
What are the benefits of being accredited?
The principal benefit of being accredited is that an independent third party has inspected your laundry organization and found that it meets the highest standards for processing healthcare textiles. A laundry organization cannot inspect and accredit itself, and its customers generally do not have the time or expertise to perform a comprehensive inspection as conducted by HLAC.
An HLAC-accredited laundry organization has demonstrated that the:
Laundry Organization managers understand and follow key government mandates for handling, processing, and transporting healthcare textiles. In particular, the laundry organization is following OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to the letter.
Laundry Organization is designed and maintained to provide for the health and safety of its personnel and that of the healthcare facility customer – the patient.
Laundry Organization personnel, who handle healthcare textiles, are properly trained.
Laundry Organization follows recommended “good industry practices” in its systems, policies, and procedures that will provide the consistent delivery of healthcare textiles in the quality and quantity expected by the customer.
Laundry Organization is committed to excellence and challenging itself to meet the highest industry standards.
What is the benefit to the healthcare customer?
The principal benefit to the healthcare customer is the knowledge and confidence that their textile provider is meeting the highest standards for processing healthcare textiles in the industry, including strict adherence to federal government regulations and guidelines. The customer can expect a consistent and smooth flow of clean textiles; and, ultimately, the knowledge of safety for their employees and the end user – the patient.