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RULE §511.72Linen and Laundry Services

(a) A limited services rural hospital (LSRH) shall provide sufficient clean linen to ensure the patient's comfort.

(b) An LSRH, whether it operates its own laundry or uses commercial service, shall ensure the following.

  (1) LSRH employees involved in transporting, processing, or otherwise handling clean or soiled linen are given initial and follow-up in-service training to ensure a safe product for patients and to safeguard employees in their work.

  (2) Clean linen is handled, transported, and stored by methods that will ensure its cleanliness.

  (3) All contaminated linen is placed and transported in bags or containers labeled or color-coded.

  (4) LSRH employees who have contact with contaminated linen wear gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment.

  (5) Contaminated linen is handled as little as possible and with a minimum of agitation and is not sorted or rinsed in patient care areas.

  (6) All contaminated linen is bagged or put into carts at the location where it was used.

    (A) Bags containing contaminated linen are closed before transport to the laundry.

    (B) Whenever contaminated linen is wet and presents a reasonable likelihood of soak-through of or leakage from the bag or container, the linen is deposited and transported in bags that prevent leakage of fluids to the exterior.

    (C) All linen placed in chutes is bagged.

    (D) If chutes are not used to convey linen to a central receiving or sorting room, then adequate space is allocated on the various nursing units for holding the bagged contaminated linen.

  (7) Linen is processed as follows.

    (A) When using hot water, the LSRH shall wash the linen with detergent in the water with a temperature of at least 71 degrees Centigrade (160 degrees Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes. The LSRH shall meet the hot water requirements specified in Table 5 of §511.169(e) of this chapter (relating to Tables).

    (B) When using low-temperature (less than or equal to 70 degrees Centigrade) (158 degrees Fahrenheit) laundry cycles, the LSRH shall use chemicals suitable for low-temperature washing at proper use concentration.

    (C) Commercial dry cleaning of fabrics soiled with blood also renders these items free of the risk of pathogen transmission.

    (D) The LSRH shall not use flammable liquids to process laundry, but may use flammable liquids for equipment maintenance.

Source Note: The provisions of this §511.72 adopted to be effective October 5, 2023, 48 TexReg 5668

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