A familiar way to identify doctors could become passe at WVU Hospitals.
West Virginia University Hospitals may eliminate ties and white coats for its doctors, opting for professional-looking scrubs, said Matt Loos, vice president of medical staff affairs.
"We are looking very closely at this as an institutional wide policy," he told the WVU Hospitals Board of Directors during its meeting last week.
Frank Briggs, vice president of quality and patient safety, said the change is underway in the United Kingdom.
If adopted, WVUH may start the policy in the fall, Briggs said.
"This is an international and national push," Loos said.
The idea: Health care providers with long sleeves won't wash their hands as well in an effort to keep from getting the cuffs wet, Loos said. Ties can also flop onto a patient and come in contact with virus. When the doctor visits another patient, that disease can be transmitted.
He said the hope is to allow the hospital to control the spread of infections.
A similar policy is in place for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Loos said officials have seen a dramatic drop in patient infection rates.
Loos said he didn't expect too much of a push back from medical staff regarding the change. He added that the biggest issue will be public education.