The second in a series of articles on the role of healthcare laundry in infection prevention has been published in Infection Control Today (ICT) magazine. In her article, "Diligence in Environmental Infection Prevention is Important to Maintaining the Quality of Laundered Healthcare Textiles Prior to Use," Lynne M. Sehulster notes that maintenance is the last phase of the overall laundry process of preparing reusable fabric items, and infection prevention is critical to its success.

Sehulster recently retired from the CDC after 20 years of serving as the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion's subject matter expert on environmental infection control.

“Maintaining both the quality and cleanliness of processed healthcare textiles (HCTs) prior to their use is a shared responsibility,” she said. “It calls for a collaborative effort between laundry operators and the healthcare professionals in the recipient healthcare facilities."

"Effective control of inadvertent environmental contamination of HCTs requires commitment and diligence from all laundry operators and healthcare professionals who manage the production and use of hygienically clean HCTs," and suggests that staying on top of these responsibilities can be made easier through the use of checklists such as those provided by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC). HLAC is a non-profit organisation that inspects and accredits laundries processing textiles for hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.