Thursday, July 23, 2009

AMA Considers White Coat Ban

On June 16, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted to have a committee further consider a recommendation banning the use of white coats by doctors in hospitals.

The proposed recommendation comes after the British National Health System imposed a "bare below the elbow" system banning certain clothing items, including white coats. The movement toward eliminating the coats and items such as neckties has risen in response to the growing number of hospital-acquired infections. Although there has been no study directly linking white coats and business dress to the rise in hospital-acquired infections, it is believed that these items may be more likely to carry the germs that cause infections than short-sleeve scrubs.

The white coat has long been a symbol of physician responsibility and care. Now it seems that it may become a thing of the past in the pursuit to improve patient safety.

Source: The Chicago Tribune,0,1802810.story

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