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Hospital Linen - How should it be handled?

Question: Our facility stores clean linen in our linen exchange room. Linen is transported through the hospital on covered carts and transferred to the linen carts in each area. These carts are covered, but if they are in a dedicated linen room we do not enforce keeping the cover down at all times. Is this correct or not?

Our linen exchange room has open shelving. Curtains have been installed to cover the shelving. Since it is a dedicated linen room, do the shelves have to be covered (We do not have positive air flow in this room)?

Our housekeeping department mops the floors and dusts the shelves weekly. Is this adequate? Should the shelves be disinfected on a regular basis? What would be considered standard practice in this area?


Answer: I would recommend researching concerns regarding the regulation for laundering and storage of linens from the Hospital Joint Commission, or JCAHO. Their website,, should help to answer most of your questions. There is also a JCAHO book that I would recommend, which can be use for future references as well as an educational support.  The practice of keeping linens covered at all times is good protocol. Shelving should be sanitized as linens are removed and replaced. As for floors and other surfaces, the use of a disinfectant cleaner should also be a standard practice. Specific details on the “how to” and “when” is available from JCAHO.



Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Sodexo Laundry Services Technology Recognized By CIO Magazine

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — An innovative use of computer technology that increases operational efficiency by providing key metrics for its commercial laundry operations and has saved more than $100,000 since its implementation has earned Sodexo, Inc. IDG’s CIO magazine’s 2010 CIO 100 Award. The award recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT). Sodexo’s Laundries Dashboard is a central decision-support tool that combines information from multiple systems to monitor core processes in Laundry and Linen Services businesses.

The dashboard presents Sodexo leadership and field management with key metrics in a customized, easy to use presentation. The dashboard uses Pureshare® Active-Metrics® software to gather and display appropriate information in the form of metrics for each level of management; the metrics are used to make business decisions. Because the dashboard is web-based, it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. It also sends realtime email alerts that enable management to resolve operational issues immediately. Sodexo’s Laundries Dashboard allows for the effective management of critical areas as well as providing detailed analysis and comparisons.