THE POSITIVE EFFECTS
“The colourful hats brighten up the department, surgeons and patients ask on abbreviated roles for example ODP or ODSW. It has been seen as a great communication tool and patients ...
“Medical errors in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer. Globally it is believed that medical errors kill more people than HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, combined”. (Patient safety network, 2020).
The theatre environment is a complex one where we interact with different team members all the time, all of whom work towards one goal: “Patient safety and the provision of safe patient care”. The use of reusable named theatre caps with roles on, enables better communication to provide this and since our Anaesthetists have been wearing their own caps, they have noticed an improvement in this.
Patients also know who they are interacting with, which allays their anxiety and improves their experience. There is better team engagement, and it allows team members to work together, which will improve even more once we get the fabric name and role hats across the board.
Also, the environmental benefits are a massive bonus for us all.
“The biggest difference I noticed was on Monday when people addressed me by my name a lot more than usual”
“The team huddle is all well and good in the morning, but I don’t remember everyone’s names and if we had named caps for everyone that would be great”
“It’s a good idea and helps to identify who is who”.
“Double thumbs up, comfortable and environmentally friendly and in scenarios where we may be working with different teams i.e., in resus, on arrests on the ward etc, it improves communication”.
“They are really comfortable and it’s nice to be called out by name”.
“They are definitely a good thing; we immediately know who is who”.
“They look smart as part of our uniform on top of our otherwise casual suit. The caps create a feeling of a unified workforce, representing the roles within the department.
“It gives you an identity outside the theatre where your role is sometimes unknown to many”
“It enables clear communication, especially in emergencies where timing is key to communicate with specific individuals and calling by name is important”
“In theatre we work with different members and staff from other areas and the named caps reduces the tension of being unfamiliar with your team, not to mention the reduction in waste is brilliant and goes alongside our other efforts to recycle”.
“The colourful hats brighten up the department. Surgeons and patients appreciate the fact that these include the medics’ names and abbreviated roles, for example ODP or ODSW.
It has been seen as a great communication tool and patients look to our hats and will say our names.
We work over two sites, so because of the mixing of staff it is very valuable to see who people are. Because of COVID we now wear masks/visors, so it is hard to recognise staff.
The hats are great at identifying who people are”.
Lindsay Quinn, Fife Hospital, December 2020.
Walsgrave introduced named hats in 2019. Linda Comyns outlined the impact the hats have had:
"We have been wearing them for nearly a year now and, although it has been a big change for staff, it is proving a success all round and is definitely a big improvement regarding communication and safety. In an emergency situation you can see at a glance who can do what role”.