Laundry co-op garners quality designation from Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council

September 22, 2021  //  FOUND IN: News
Employee in blue jacket standing in front of linen carts.

Barely one year after first opening its doors, the laundry facility that services Michigan Medicine, Henry Ford Health System and Trinity Health has garnered the coveted quality endorsement by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC), the laundry equivalent of The Joint Commission Accreditation for Health Care Systems.

A nonprofit that inspects laundries servicing health facilities, HLAC accreditation is more than a feather in the proverbial surgical cap — getting the designation for the recently opened Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services (MDAHS) facility helps ensure patient and team member safety.

“To us, this is about peace of mind for our members and the patients they serve, so they can be assured at the end of the day the linen products they are using are hygienic and clean,” said Dave Donnan, MDAHS continuous improvement manager. “It demonstrates our commitment to quality, safety and reliability, the cornerstone of our business model and our new facility design.”

MDAHS is cooperatively owned by Michigan Medicine, Henry Ford Health System and Trinity Health and was designed to process up to nearly 80 million pounds of laundry each year from its state-of-the-art facility that opened June 2020 in Detroit.

“Work to earn HLAC accreditation began immediately upon opening,” said MDAHS General Manager Dave Haas, with leaders and team members training, documenting and otherwise preparing for the rigorous site inspection, which took place June 24. Inspectors follow a checklist that includes more than 500 detailed items governing everything from water and chemical usage, employee personal protective equipment, linen transportation and more.

HLAC guidelines are designed to complement federal and state regulations, as well as health industry guidelines set forth by The Joint Commission.

“The accreditation signals to our current members as well as prospective members that we adhere to and take seriously the very same safety regulations and standards they follow,” Haas said.

MDAHS will stage a luncheon celebration for the entire team once the current COVID-19 pandemic safe distancing requirements subside to mark the occasion and thank everyone for their efforts. The accreditation is good for three years and the facility will undergo recertification prior to expiration.

“On behalf of our respective health systems’ providers and patients, I want to thank everyone on the MDAHS team who worked so hard to make this happen,” said Bob Harris, U-M associate health system director for facilities planning and operations and the president of the MDAHS board of directors. “Getting accredited by the HLAC by itself is impressive, but to earn it in such a short time during this COVID-19 pandemic is a remarkable achievement.”