CHICAGO — The quality of a healthcare facility’s laundry is just one aspect the Joint Commission considers when evaluating a hospital or nursing home for accreditation. The new Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) focuses solely on a laundry's ability to meet textile processing standards in inspecting laundries that request it.
So, American Laundry News asked its Wire e-mail readers, whether healthcare-based or not, to sound off on accreditation this month: Are they accredited, do they believe accreditation offers added benefits, and do they believe that independent accreditation of laundry facilities should be mandatory?
Roughly 30% of respondents say their laundry or general facility has been accredited. Of those, more than half received HLAC accreditation and the remainder Joint Commission approval. One respondent says their state’s department of hygiene and safety accredited their facility.
Nearly 45% of respondents say that accreditation offers benefits that their operation wouldn’t otherwise receive. Nearly 32% say it doesn’t and 23.4% are unsure.
As a group, the proponents say accreditation validates their services and makes their customers or end users more confident in their abilities.
“(There is a) definite edge in marketing when competing against non-accredited facilities,” says one supporter of accreditation. “More and more administrators are aware of the significance of dealing with an accredited laundry.”
“Customers will be more confident to choose us if we can show we meet minimum standards for the industry,” adds another.
“Accreditation can be had by anyone who reads a book but knows little about the subject,” answers one detractor. “Accreditation is just another form of marketing.” Another adds, “I think it’s a push by big laundries to drive the smaller ones out.”
Roughly 36% of respondents say their institution or business is seeking accreditation or renewal of accreditation now, or plans to do so within the next year. More than 53% say they aren’t, and 10.6% are unsure.
Nearly 80% balked at the notion of making independent accreditation of laundry facilities mandatory. Roughly 13% say it should be required, and 8.3% don’t know.
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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