HLAC was formed in 2005 as a nonprofit, nonaligned organization charged with creating an independent third-party inspection and accreditation program to acknowledge that a laundry organization meets the highest standards for processing healthcare textiles. The voluntary Board of Directors comprises a cross section of objective experts in infection prevention, environmental services, laundry operations and government inspections.
The HLAC Accreditation Standards document covers the complete textile processing cycle: from handling and transporting to laundering and finishing to customer service. No other currently available accreditation program is as detailed or as comprehensive in scope as HLAC’s. HLAC Accreditation Standards have been developed based on federal regulations an guidelines as well as best industry practices.
Reinforcing the credibility and quality of HLAC standards, the HLAC Accreditation Standard document has been awarded the AORN Seal of Recognition™ from the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN). This means the document has undergone thorough review by AORN and meets the guidelines of the “AORN Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices.”
The dynamic nature of the HLAC Board ensures that accreditation standards are under constant review and continuous improvement. Revisions to the HLAC Accreditation Standards are released every three years after a public comment process.
The HLAC Accreditation Standards are clearly process-based and backed by data. This process-centered focus mirrors both ISO 9000 Series and FDA part 820 Quality System Regulation recommendations. Process ensures that healthcare textiles are delivered in a condition that supports infection prevention initiatives and meet the CDC’s and HIPAC’s Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare.
HLAC Accreditation Standards pay special attention to laundry processes directly related to patient safety and OSHA-required practices, including Blood borne Pathogen Exposure Control Standards. As such, HLAC-accredited laundries can confidently claim they are part of the solution in the healthcare industry’s effort to provide patients with the upmost in safe care.
To be accredited by HLAC, a laundry must pass HLAC inspection. Inspections place significant weight on factors such as design, equipment, practices, training, protocols and adherence to regulatory body requirements. The one-day inspection process includes a physical walk-through of the entire plant. Inspections follow HLAC standards. Passing inspection means a laundry’s own operational process adhere to professionally recognized infection prevention and control policies.
All types of laundries – on-premises, co-op and commercial – are eligible for HLAC accreditation. Laundries that become accredited are in good company with other like-minded leaders in the industry. Meeting and maintaining HLAC Accreditation Standards means a laundry has made a commitment to a new level of excellence in the way it processes textiles. The laundries have the extra added asset of knowledge that their practices are the industry’s best and most current available.
In the eyes of the healthcare customer, HLAC accreditation is like a dividend validating a laundry’s expertise, believability, dependability, reliability and soundness.
All of the benefits of HLAC accreditation give the healthcare laundry a competitive edge that enables it to crystalize an communicate to current and potential customers those specific qualities that make it different from non-accredited facilities.