Sterile Surgical Systems Laundry Process Overview
Sterile Surgical Systems washes laundry using a “Keep Separate” system where all accounts are processed separately. This ensures that laundry from one facility is never mixed with laundry from another facility. We practice strict adherence to healthcare laundry best practices, which encompass most other industry standards. Our laundry is hand inspected at over seven checkpoints throughout the process. By having so many manual checkpoints we catch most defects so your hospital does not have to; you are not charged for defective linen.
1. Unload Trucks
Soiled laundry is unloaded into the soil sort area late in the evening.
2. Soil Sort
Soiled laundry is sorted in the early morning hours in the soil sort area by trained sorters wearing PPE clothing. Accounts are sorted separately and like-items are grouped together for washing. Rigorous metrics are kept on the soil sort process to ensure optimum productivity. The laundry sorting ends in the late morning.
3. Wash Deck
All sorted loads are weighed and loaded into the appropriate washer with the correct chemical formula and wash cycle. All chemical concentrations (titration) are maintained by our chemical vendor (currently Ecolab). All water levels and temperatures are verified by our chemical vendor at each visit, as well as periodically by management. By weighing items before the washer we ensure optimal mechanical action and water/heat/chemical usage.
When the wash cycle is complete, loads are unloaded from the washers and loaded into the appropriate dryer with the appropriate dryer cycle.
Washed items are sent quarterly to Nelson Laboratories in Utah for bioburden analysis.
4. Finish Area
When a load is complete it is transported to the finish area, which is physically separate from the soil sort area. The finish area contains positive airflow per healthcare laundry industry best practices. No soiled linen is ever allowed in the finishing area. Sheets are laid out here for later ironing. Hand-fold items (already sorted) are placed on tables and inspected for stains, tears, or dirt. Stained/torn items are returned to the hospital if desired. Dirty items are put into the rewash for later processing. We target a 2.5- 3.5 percent rewash rate. Clean items are folded and placed in carts.
Sheets and pillowcases are again inspected and fed through the iron. A minimum of three inspectors QA’s each sheet at the iron. At the other end employees final fold the sheets and load them into carts.
Items are folded and loaded into carts according to the hospital’s desire.
Finished carts are labeled, poly covered, and weighed. The finished carts are loaded onto the truck with the final delivery document. The driver then delivers the laundry to your hospital where it is unloaded. The soiled laundry for the next day is then picked up and brought back to the plant.