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CNO Leads $1M Charge for New Scrubs, Uniforms

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2014

The CNO of a Florida health system calls the organization's switch to new uniforms for 6,000 employees 'change management at its finest.'

Change can be tough for anyone, whether it's starting a new job or moving to a new city. But a $1 million, industry-first change that involves more than 6,000 employees requires exceptional leadership. That's where Diane Raines, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president and CNO for Jacksonville, Florida-based Baptist Health comes in.

Raines, along with Baptist Health COO John Wilbanks, FACHE, was the executive champion for an initiative to adopt new work garments made from antimicrobial, fluid-repelling, moisture-wicking fabric. Baptist Health was the first health system to widely adopt the Vestex uniforms from Vestagen Technical Textiles.


Slideshow

>>>Slideshow: Vestex at Baptist Health in Jacksonville

But the adoption of the new uniforms didn't happen overnight; and it also didn't happen without a lot of staff help and input.

"This has been three years in the making," Raines says. The process started with physicians and nurse epidemiologists watching and waiting for a couple of years as data started to show that the fabric was able to do things like reduce MRSA on apparel.

"From a medical standpoint, you want to make sure if you're going to make a change like this there is evidence behind it," Raines says. "We really looked at this not as uniforms but as technology that could help protect our staff and patients."

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6 comments on "CNO Leads $1M Charge for New Scrubs, Uniforms"


Susan Taylor (9/22/2014 at 4:08 PM)
I am an employee of Baptist and the doctors do not wear the scrubs, nor are required to wear the jackets as well. The [INVALID]em did not do any trials on decreasing infection rates. It is a decision brought on by upper management wanting the publicity of a "new" technology. When in reality it is expensive and we are not sure the scrubs will even last through more than 50 washes (that's what the rep said the material was tested to). Each set of scrubs are $50 and many staff do not have the extra resources to replace scrubs every 6 months. In fact, we have only had them one month and many people are having allergic reactions and their scrubs are faded and falling apart. This was not a well thought out plan.

Hanny Banks (8/29/2014 at 9:37 PM)
This is big news?

M. V. (8/29/2014 at 8:46 AM)
It will be interesting to see if the reduction of MRSA on the garments will reduce nosocomial MRSA in PATIENTS...which is what is really important. If the uniforms do result in fewer nosocomial infections, then the change is valuable...if not, then it would be a huge waste of money. Hopefully, the hospital did a trial that demonstrated improvement in infection rates, rather than blinding jumping to adopt technology.