June 19, 2018 • digitalmedia • Uniforms • Comments Off on Why Your Hospital Needs a Uniform Program
Today’s hospitals need to run efficiently. Helpful efficiency tools are those which truly allow staff to provide insightful and professional care to their many patients with the least amount of peripheral concerns. When operations are at their best, your staff can be at their best, and your hospital can reflect hospitality, focus, and order, exuding a sense of peace rather than stress. Good operations mean your staff is free to do their best work.
Hospital uniform programs, though they might seem unnecessary at first glance, help manage or prevent many things that can go wrong in a fast-paced, high-pressure setting, and contribute greatly to smooth operations. Here’s how a uniform program can add hospitality, focus, and order to your hospital.
Though many medical professionals enjoy the flexibility and self-expression possible through choosing their own scrubs, the priority is always patient care. Is choosing one’s own scrubs always best for the patient? The larger or busier the hospital, the more important it is to provide clear visual signals for where to go, how to get help, and who’s who in the hospital. This is basic hospitality.
Uniform programs contribute to this by color coding different staff roles and making it easy for patients and other visitors to distinguish between, for example, an attending nurse, a physician’s assistant, and administrative staff. This provides a sense of ease and builds trust between clients and your hospital. Illness is stressful, and healthcare is complex. The easier and simpler you can make it for people to navigate your system, the better.
This is where a hospital director comes in. If staff is willing to give up a little choice in scrub selection in order to be more hospitable to patients, it is only fair that they receive excellent pre-selected choices in return. A well-administered uniform program offers only the highest quality scrub choices, in brands your staff already knows and trusts. They should be comfortable, flattering, breathable, and easy to wash. They can reflect the brand of your hospital through color and/or embroidery, and employees should feel perfectly happy to wear them.
It also might be beneficial to involve staff in the process of selecting and onboarding new uniform choices. They may be able to provide detailed insight about what might be best. For example, they can suggest how uniforms should vary across wards, or what kind of special features might actually be ineffective or uncomfortable. With a partner like Fontis Solutions, you can provide an online portal in which staff can select their uniforms through accounts with a preloaded amount of money to spend. Uniform programs can be implemented with great respect and foresight when they are implemented with intentionality.
The most obvious way uniforms help with focus is that they take away the peripheral staff concern to shop and provide appropriate work clothes for themselves. With a uniform program, no one gets called on the carpet for an awkward conversation about inappropriate or off-brand workwear. Uniform programs allow you to implement subtle yet effective branding across the board and ensure uniforms live up to their name, never having to be concerned about what kind of impression a particular employee’s choice of workwear is making.
If you work with the right uniform solutions partner, remaining conscientious of your staff’s particular needs and preferences, employees can trust that you are providing workwear they enjoy putting on, and feel comfortable and professional wearing throughout the day (and night).
Uniforms also give your brand focus. There are basic services every hospital provides. All of your medical staff is bound by the same Hippocratic oath as the staff in other hospitals. So in one sense, there is great consistency and continuity in medicine. On the other hand, your hospital serves a particular location and is likely connected to a particular brand of medical care centers. In either case, if you’re aware of your vision as an organization, you operate with a particular emphasis to your excellence.
Are you the senior care center that keeps operations small? Do you boast a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center? Or do you have a distinctive obstetrics ward that partners with midwives? Perhaps you are simply embedded in your local community and invested in relationships there. Whatever your vision and your strengths, uniforms simplify workwear so that branding touches stand out. Embroidered logos and names, the cut and design of your scrubs, and the color scheme all help clarify your brand and bring a visual focus to your hospital.
Visually marking your staff as a team nurtures patient confidence because it implies values like consistency, cooperation, and organization. When it comes to being cared for, patients need a strong human touch; but when it comes to background operations, they need to get the sense that your hospital is a well-oiled machine.
Uniforms also provide order by providing extra security. A well-organized uniform program leaves little doubt as to who belongs in which kind of location at any given time. With branded and color-coded uniforms, it is more difficult for an intruder or a thief to be where they do not belong without being spotted.
Another important aspect of order is to express professionalism, competence, and cleanliness from the moment someone walks in the door. A jumbled confetti of scrubs that don’t seem to relate to one another creates an unnecessary visual barrier to that impression. Ideally, you want your spotless impression to be instantaneous.
Staff picks up on these visual impressions, too. Studies indicate that work performance improves when employees are in uniform.
There’s no question that uniform programs are effective when they are well-chosen and well-organized by a thoughtful management team.
Fontis Solutions has made it easy for some of healthcare’s biggest names to implement effective and professional uniform programs. We’d love to help you, too. Contact us and connect with one of our consultants today.
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