Northwest Health Care Linen earns new industry certification

A Bellingham company that provides linen service to the health care industry has received a new certification based on its standard of cleanliness when it comes to laundry services.

Northwest Health Care Linen of Bellingham joins Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service of Seattle/Tacoma and MediCleanse Medical Linen Service of Seattle as being among the first such service suppliers working with local health care providers to have qualified for the “Hygienically Clean Healthcare” certification from the Textile Rental Services Association, or TRSA, an industry and advocacy group.

“We congratulate Ecotex, MediCleanse and Northwest on reaching this industry milestone,”  Joseph Ricci, TRSA president and CEO, said, in a press release.  “This achievement proves their dedication to building their customers’ confidence that their laundry takes every step possible to prevent human illness.”

Professional cleaning techniques have long been recognized for preventing textile products from carrying infectious disease. Periodic visual inspections of laundry facilities, usually years apart, have been the traditional means for verifying cleanliness. TRSA, the national advocacy group for professional laundering, now requires certified launderers to supplement such inspections with measurement of washed goods’ hygiene.

TRSA requires certified laundries to confirm that garments, sheets, towels and other textile products contain little or no contamination after laundering.  Laundries must also document cleaning and housekeeping practices in accordance with specifications of government agencies (Department of Labor, Centers for Disease Control, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.) and private-sector groups (associations in medical professions including caregivers, infection control, instrumentation, etc.).

TRSA doesn’t expect the U.S. or state governments to require laundries to be certified. The organization believes market forces, namely the expectations of laundered textile product buyers in healthcare facilities, will likely drive laundry-industry acceptance of a cleanliness standard.

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