More and more states require health care professionals to wear identification badges while at work. Recently Maryland started to require medical staff to wear tags effective October 1st 2013. State administration usually provides substantial amount of time for the facilities to prepare for the new regulation. In the case of Maryland the legislation was signed by the Governor Martin O’Malley on May 16th giving over 4 months before the law went into force.
Maryland State Senate Bill number 512 is based on the the American Medical Association (AMA) legislation model. Rules following this particular pattern have been applied in 15 other states with no issues.
Medicine doctors and other caregiving staff needs to visibly identify themselves with name and credentials. First and last name needs to be in font large enough to read it at a glance; same applies to the type of license such as Registered Nurse, MD, Doctor of Physical Therapy etc.
There are number of exceptions from the requirement. While freestanding ambulatory care facilities, physician’s offices and urgent care facilities need to follow the regulations solo practitioners are exempted. There is also an exception due to sterile environment conditions such as operating room where invasive procedures are performed. Another item on the exemption list is made for the professionals performing in dangerous conditions such as crime scenes, criminal justice facilities as well as any other conditions under which the staff personal safety might be in jeopardy. Exception allows not wearing and identification card or wearing one with the first name only.
Name tags are proved to increase comfort level of the patient population. Although the medical practitioner are required to introduce themselves doctor’s office visit might be stressful experience which makes the patient forget the name and feel uncomfortable calling the doctor. It’s even more important when it comes to larger facilities such as hospitals or diagnostics units where a patient needs to see a number of people and has limited ability to memorize the names and titles.
Another factor that makes the law makers enforce wearing the IDs is that it improves integrity and responsibility levels. There is no more this blond guy or that nurse in blue scrub since everyone could be easily called by name and title without looking into the facility directory. This also helps the practitioners themselves, especially in larger facilities or when someone new has been hired. When you’re seeing dozens of people every day as a doctor and you’re expected to remember their names it doesn’t hurt if the people you work with are labeled.