- Created on Wednesday, November 29 2006 05:00
A badge of distinction
Wearing ID badges separates employees and staff from others
What’s in a badge? ID badges play an important role in making sure that clinical and administrative staff have a safe environment in which to work. They represent an insurance policy for patients, visitors and other staff by identifying the name and department of the wearer. In addition to its role in hospital security and safety, an ID badge can be the equivalent of a “welcome” sign for patients, introducing the wearer and stating his or her purpose.
“The ID badge definitely helps put patients at ease,” said HHS Security Director Chris Nowak. “Because it has a photo, a name and a department, an ID badge lets patients know that this person is the right person to give them a medication or take a blood sample or vital signs.” It also can help maintain confidentiality – “patients can see whether a staff member is from nursing or food services or the pharmacy so they can direct private health information only to those who should know it.”
Besides introductions, another function of the ID badge is logistical. “It lets others know that this person is supposed to be where he or she is,” said Nowak. “This is particularly important in our maternity areas. Badges for staff there are a different color, indicating that they are authorized to be in the nursery unit.”
Finally, the badge should be treated as though it were a key to an important door. “Badges should never be left unattended, and employees should take them home,” said
Nowak. “In a weather emergency, for example, an ID badge may identify you as ‘essential personnel’ if you need to get to work when there is a ban on driving.”