APIC Show: TRSA Promotes Certification

Posted July 10, 2015 at 11:56 am

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Visitors to TRSA’s exhibit at the recent Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) trade show were highly receptive to TRSA’s messages about Hygienically Clean certification and the healthcare industry’s potential to improve its uniform-, linen- and laundry-purchasing practices.

APIC members are viewed as increasingly powerful influencers of textile services buys due to greater concerns about laundry’s role in preventing hospital-acquired infections. That same trend is fueling interest in TRSA’s Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification, which validates launderers’ processes, verifying their commitment to cleanliness through third-party inspection and quantified biological testing. Visitors to the TRSA exhibit (mostly hospital-based nurses charged with coordinating or managing infection prevention) were urged to ensure that their facilities use Hygienically Clean certified laundries.

They heard from TRSA that the certification hinges on the laundries’ quality-assurance efforts, ensuring that best-management practices are documented and followed for the production of hygienically clean textiles. These practices encompass applicable infection-control guidelines, including those established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as recommended practices from The Joint Commission (TJC – formerly JCAHO) relevant to the handling and processing of healthcare textiles. Bacteriological testing verifies the effectiveness of these practices.

Attendees also were informed about conclusions from the March 2015 TRSA-commissioned study of consumers and textile services buyers that question the wisdom of healthcare providers’ common textile product and laundry-buying practices, including:

  • Most employees buy their own garments and take them home to clean
  • Many employees are not trained to clean their garments properly
  • Aesthetic attractiveness is relatively insignificant in choosing garment styles 
  • Price sensitivity is a relatively heavy driver of buying decisions

A survey taken at the TRSA exhibit asked attendees if they viewed these findings as positives, negatives or irrelevant. Unanimously, they were negative on employees’ lack of training in laundering their own garments. On the other three conclusions, at least half of respondents were negative. TRSA plans to get opinions on the customer-study findings from other types of healthcare professionals as well and use their opinions in publicity efforts with healthcare media to support the textile services industry.

The APIC show, held June 27-29 in Nashville, TN, also included exhibits by TRSA members Angelica Corp., Aramark Uniform Services and G&K Services Inc. To identify the industry’s presence at the show and drive attendee traffic to these members’ displays, TRSA distributed their show giveaways from the TRSA exhibit. ADI American Dawn donated the purple microfiber towels distributed by TRSA with the G&K logo on the label.