The International Association for Healthcare Textile Management (IAHTM) is observing its 50th anniversary this year. A nonprofit membership organization for healthcare laundry cooperatives, IAHTM provides senior-level textile managers with resources and support to maximize their laundries’ efficiencies and control costs without compromising quality or patient focus.
“IAHTM was the brainchild of the CEOs and GMs of the first existing cooperative laundries formed in the ’60s who wanted communicate with each other about operations – information that they could share,” said Myles Noel, IAHTM board President. Noel is CEO, Central Ohio Medical Textiles (COMTEX), Columbus, OH. “Today, our membership comprises 34 laundries that provide service to approximately 7,000 healthcare facilities in the U.S and Canada and that process more than 700 million pounds of clean linen each year, making us the largest healthcare central laundry organization in the world.”
Noel said IAHTM membership provides education and opportunities for benchmarking, continuous process improvement, selecting capital equipment and training for all aspects of healthcare laundry operations and service. With ongoing professional development in mind, the organization holds two educational conferences every year, its Annual Member Meeting and Education Conference (Sept. 15-18, Marco Island, FL; and its Spring Education Conference (May 15-16, London, ON).
Noel said that one of IAHTM’s most popular membership benefits is its Peer Assessment & Evaluation review program where, by request, a team of IAHTM members visit the facility of an existing member where – peer-to-peer – they share their challenges, experiences and expertise on any operational or procedural matter.
“The outcome of this review process usually results in some form of recommendation from the team so the existing member can optimize his or her
laundry’s performance,” he said. “I’ve taken advantage of this program myself for COMTEX.”
Door Open for New Membership
Noel said that in 2018, IAHTM is putting some extra focus on growing new membership. “We want to make sure that we are connecting with those qualifying healthcare cooperatives that are out there, and making ourselves known to them, so that they have the ability to take advantage of what IAHTM offers,” he said.
Membership is open to those organizations that are formed and operated for the purpose of providing shared laundry and textile services to two or more hospitals or healthcare institutions; are owned by governed by or under the control of one or more hospitals or healthcare institutions recognized by the IAHTM Board as qualifying hospitals or healthcare institutions; and which have a management, ownership and control arrangement which is consistent with other members and is not a broad based contract management arrangement for independent or unrelated customers. The management must report directly to a Board of Directors and be independent of any contract management company.