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Benefits  of badges

The NHS is one of the world's largest healthcare providers.

Many patients visit NHS hospitals, clinics, and surgeries every year for various reasons be it consultations, investigations, procedures, some minor, some major. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that all staff are easily and quickly identifiable to patients, visitors, and colleagues.

Identification and professionalism are implied by the wearing of NHS name badges.  They also help in improving safety and security by preventing miscommunication errors. Numerous recommendations have been given on the implementation of name badges.

Badge Hats by Eco Ninjas

We at Eco Ninjas have been busy conducting in depth research and we have tried and tested various methods and designs for attaching and detaching badges safely to fabric theatre hats. 

After extensive testing with Birmingham University and TWI in Cambridge, we eventually found the perfect solution, and we really hope this could become as standard uniform in operating Theatres throughout the UK.

Our badges can also be inserted into plastic badge holders and attached to uniforms using clips or pins just like the current badges, so this could also serve as a dual-purpose badge!

One example is below:

A recommendation to amend existing policy or develop additional policy to require the wearing of name badges (or similar, but not cards on lanyards) by each type of health professional, bearing in large print the person’s name and title or role.

Identification in Theatre settings

In a theatre setting, badges are often covered up by theatre gowns, lanyards are tucked away, and both often have too small a font to read the details from a distance.  Lanyards can easily accidentally be turned around, so the names/roles are not always visible, and many other issues arise from wearing this type of name badge also.

It is critical to be able to recognise the importance of using first names, especially in crisis time-sensitive scenarios.  Advocates having names and roles easily visible on theatre hats have given feedback to how this simple practice has had a transformational change to their working environment which provides huge benefits.


Over the last five years or so, names and roles have been written directly onto disposable hats, printed onto stickers & stuck onto the hats, ironed-on, printed and embroidered onto fabric hats and this simple low-cost initiative has gathered global momentum and recognition in improving communication and having an overall general improvement in surgical outcomes. We believe that we have the best, safe and ecofriendly alternative to all of these tried methods of identifying staff members using theatre hats.

Recommendations for names badges to be worn.

Suggestions are to promote identification of badges clipped to a higher level on the chest for example, where they are less likely to be touched or become contaminated and less likely to contact the patient.

(C.M.Murphy et al.  The journal of Hospital Infection, 2017

“Clip-on identity badges may be a better solution, with significantly less bacterial colonisation than lanyards”.

“Like lanyards, clip-on badges retain the benefits of readable identification and the potential to be adapted with colours to emphasise roles”. 


​“A fixed position on the upper chest minimises contact with the clinical environment. Further away from the wearer’s hands than a lanyard, a clip-on badge makes hand re-contamination more difficult”.


“Clip-on identity badges fulfil the same purpose with less threat to infection control”.

Examples of where lanyards are linked to potential infection control instances are below:



“It is not advised to wear badges with lanyards due to infection control risks and in studies performed, lanyards have shown significantly higher rates of MSSA and/or MRSA between groups”.

(Hogue et al. J Arthroplasty. 2017).


“Swinging from around our necks, it accompanies us on the morning commute, to every patient on the ward round, to lunch, to the bathroom, and back to our homes”.  Other studies have shown that lanyards have been contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and it was investigated that lanyards are rarely, if ever, cleaned.  In a study where only 16% of lanyards had ever been washed, those cleaned recently had lower bacterial counts”.  

(Round, BMJ, 2019).

Lanyards have been banned in many hospital theatres due to the potential of cross contamination after studies demonstrated that lanyard hygiene is poor and suggestions have been given to discourage neck lanyards completely.

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