The Healthcare Personnel Attire Police are coming!  JoNel Aleccia says new dress codes could play a role in limiting hospital-acquired infections:

Short sleeves, bare hands and forearms and white coats that are laundered at least once a week — if not more often — are the keys to keeping nasty bugs such as Staphylococcus aureus from hitching a ride on a doctor’s wrist.

Neckties are questionable. Watches and rings have to go. It’s not clear what to do about name tags, lanyards, necklaces and cell phones, but when in doubt, it’s best to clean the offending items — or get rid of them.


The new guidelines were published in this month’s journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, and include the following suggestions for the feet:

All footwear should have closed toes, low heels, and nonskid soles.


The recommendations go further in suggesting that healthcare providers go “bare below the elbows (BBE),” and that white coats be removed before patient care commences.  While the new guidelines are aimed at hospital workers involved with patient care, they will no doubt trickle down to medical offices and private practices.  Pretty soon we may all be wearing freshly laundered scrubs to work every day!