UPMC Update: Linen Storage Issues Uncovered

Posted April 13, 2017 at 3:27 pm

An unannounced state inspection of UPMC Shadyside hospital in Pittsburgh revealed improper storage of clean and soiled linens, along with ventilation problems, according to news reports.

The inspection results recently were posted online. Investigators determined “that neither the clean or soiled linens were being stored according to standards …” The report pointed out that soiled and clean linens were inappropriately stored in the basement within close proximity to each other. “During a tour of the facility’s soiled linen bulk storage area on Feb. 16, at approximately 11 a.m., soiled linens were observed packed in cloth bags stacked in red plastic containers located in a room with the door opened adjacent to the hallways where the clean linen containers were stored,” the report said.

Following the inspection, UPMC and state officials met Feb. 28 to discuss plans for construction and renovations to ensure proper delivery and storage of the linens, according to the report. “The plans involve a significant change to the physical locations of clean and soiled linens in order to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements,” the report said. “It is anticipated that the construction/renovation will be completed by Sept. 1, due to the time needed for planning, approvals by agencies including the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the city of Pittsburgh, and the construction/renovation itself.”

The state has asked UPMC to review and improve the way it stores linens with regard to temperature and ventilation. At least six people have died after contracting a fungal infection inside a UPMC facility since 2014. Five families have taken legal action in connection with the mold incidents. A source of the fungal infections has not been determined, although a previous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention source pointed to a ventilation system in the UPMC Presbyterian cases. To read the full article, click here.