Defined dress codes have consistently proven to be a best practice in leading healthcare organizations nationwide. Patient safety and patient satisfaction are driving changes in this area. We have found that providing a consistent and recognizable approach for patients and their family members to easily identify caregivers and hospital staff can reduce unnecessary anxiety during what can be a vulnerable and critical time.

The recent uniform initiative supports our focus on making it easier to identify our caregivers. Over the past few months, with help from our Dress Code Committee and Senior Leaders, we have taken special care to select new uniforms that will help identify our team of caregivers and hospital staff simply by looking at what we wear. We believe this change further enhances our tremendous efforts to build a culture that enhances and supports a Patient-Centered Care environment.

All employees are expected to adhere to the new Dress Code and Uniform policy. The policy provides specific details on what is required based on the employee’s job title and department. This will help our patients more readily identify our staff by what we wear.

The new policy is effective January 1, 2014. A transition time for communication and opportunity for employees to adjust as needed to changes will go through December 31, 2013.

If you own scrubs that are the color as identified in the new Dress Code and Uniform Policy, you can take those scrub tops to Logo Kick for the required NFRMC embroidery.

In order to provide a consistent look, we have agreed to have our scrubs/uniforms embroidered with the facility logo. In order to assist patients in identifying our staff, we will also have the scrubs embroidered with the department name. This is a key piece of information that helps our patients identify their caregivers. To ensure consistency for our patients across all facilities, the title/department name will be based on the approved standard for all embroidery. Exceptions to the scrub/uniform titles are not under consideration.

The main intent of the Uniform Initiative is to improve the ease with which patients and their families are able to identify our team of caregivers. A key piece of this identification is the department name/logo embroidered on the scrubs/uniforms. In order to maintain the consistent appearance across our facilities, it is required that all scrubs will be embroidered with the department name/logo.

If an employee transfers to another department, the employee will need to buy new uniforms with the new department specific name/logo.

Lab Coats are designated for employees that work in specific positions and must be approved by the department Director. This requirement supports our commitment to ensuring that patients and families can easily identify staff.

For employees assigned to patient care areas, or where there are safety concerns, closedtoe shoes with slip-resistant soles are required. Shoes must be brown, grey, black, white or color-matching to the scrub/uniform color; they must meet OSHA requirements. Crocs with holes and Mary Jane’s are therefore not permitted – even if the holes are filled with ornamentation. Orthotic shoes are fine as long as they meet color and OSHA requirements. Additional information on this topic can be found in the policy

Scrub jackets were included as part of the dress code to ensure that employees were able to stay warm while on duty. Additionally, shirts may be worn under the scrub top, as long as they are black, white, or color-matching. Jackets, sweaters and other coverings outside of what is allowed in the dress code policy will not be permitted.

All of the decisions in the Dress Code and Uniform Initiative were driven by the goal of improving the ease with which our patients and their families are able to identify our team of caregivers. We believe that maintaining the scrub and uniform standards every day of the year will improve the environment for our patients and their families and increase their satisfaction. Therefore, the new dress code does not allow for wearing of holiday apparel.

Routine “Casual days” are not included in the new Dress Code and Uniform policy. Tshirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, even those with the hospital or department logos are not permitted. Denim wear (jeans) are not allowed. Exceptions to these rules may be made by Administration for certain limited and specified occasions.

The Dress Code and Uniform Policy states that body art should be covered and visible piercing should be removed while on duty. Ear piercings are allowed but are limited to two per ear. Requests for exceptions should be made with your Manager or Director.

All employees are asked to follow the Dress Code and Uniform Policy when working in the facility. This includes attending meetings.

The expectation is that when employees are on the clock and/or representing NFRMC, they are in appropriate dress as detailed in the policy. When on the clock, uniforms or dress appropriate to one’s position is required. Good judgment is expected when determining what to wear when entering the facility for other reasons.

Hair color will be maintained within the range of natural colors, and pulled back while in clinical areas. Hats or Caps are not acceptable unless approved with your uniform.

Surgical Caps must be color coordinated with the uniform or scrubs. Surgical caps with graphics, prints or logos other than NFRMC are not permitted.

Production capabilities have allowed us to roll out uniforms to various departments in stages. Uniforms were piloted with our New Beginnings departments (NICU, Labor & Delivery, PostPartum). See their picture in December’s Pulse! The next stage included the production of uniforms with the Nursing Services logo. Employees in these areas will receive uniforms by the end of December. Following this, production is in process for all departments with the logos of Critical Care Services, Emergency Services, and Surgical Services. Their uniforms will be ready for delivery in January. Production and delivery for all other areas should be completed in the first quarter of 2014. If you are unsure of your department’s logo name, please inquire with your Department Director

Uniform sizing events occurred onsite over the course of 6 weeks from September 23, 2013, through October 29, 2013, with LogoKick’s mini store set up in Human Resources beginning at 7:00 am each day, in order to accommodate and provide a convenient easy way for employees to try on and order uniforms as well as purchase extras as desired. While these events were organized by color, it was communicated that employees could come at anytime and be accommodated. Employees also had the option of going to the LogoKick store at anytime to size for their uniforms. Two extra days were also added to the original time frame to come to the LogoKick mini-store in Human Resources. And, we extended the opportunity to go to LogoKick to size for uniforms for another 2 weeks through November 11, 2013. The cutoff date to size for a uniform to be paid by North Florida was November 11, 2013. Following this date, employees were informed they would be required to purchase uniforms at their own cost. LogoKick is conveniently located at 7265 NW 4th Blvd, Gainesville, FL, in the Home Depot shopping center off of Tower Road (75th Street).

All new employees must pay for their uniforms. This is communicated during the onboarding process. New employees are provided an authorization form with all of the needed information regarding color and logo which they bring to LogoKick, located conveniently close to North Florida at 7265 NW 4th Blvd, Gainesville, FL, in the Home Depot shopping center off of Tower Road, to purchase their uniforms. Payment is made at LogoKick.

A uniform purchasing website is currently under design with an expected completion date in January. This website will allow employees a simple process to purchase uniforms and other extras using a variety of payment options. One of the options we are working to incorporate is payroll deduction. As this process becomes finalized, communication and additional details will go to all employees. Prior to final rollout of the website, employees may take their badge to LogoKick if they wish to make a purchase that requires the North Florida logo. All new employees will need to take the authorization form, mentioned above, with them to purchase a North Florida logoed uniform.

New badge formats have been discussed as part of the new Uniform & Dress code initiative. Changing of badges will occur in sync with another project that is currently in progress, the Visitor Management System. Details are not yet ready to be rolled out on either of these projects so please be patient and stay tuned for more information.

Information will be posted on the 411 Intranet site; it will also be available on-line in the careers section of nfrmc.com and in new employee orientation materials. Feel free to contact your director or the Human Resources Department as well.