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Position of the Physician's Nametag - A Randomized, Blinded Trial


Schmid, Samuel Luca; Gerber, Christian; Farshad, Mazda (2015). Position of the Physician's Nametag - A Randomized, Blinded Trial. PLoS ONE, 10(3):1-5.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The patient-physician relation begins when the physician introduces himself with name and function. Most institutions request a nametag with name and function to be worn. Although nametags are consequently worn, the optimal position for the nametag is unknown. It was the purpose of this study to identify whether positioning the nametag on the right or the left chest side provides better visibility to the patient. METHOD AND MATERIAL One hundred volunteers, blinded to the experimental setup, presented for an orthopedic consultation in a standardized manner. The nametag of the physician was randomly positioned on the left chest side and presented to 50 individuals (age 35 years (range 17 to 83)) or the right chest side and then presented to 50 other individuals (35 years (range 16 to 59)). The time of the participant noticing the nametag was documented. Subsequently, the participant was questioned concerning the relevance of a nametag and verbal self-introduction of the physician. RESULTS 38% of the participants noticed the nametag on the right as opposed to 20% who noticed it if placed on the left upper chest (p = 0.0473). The mean time to detection was 9 (range 1-40) seconds for nametags on the right and 25.2 seconds (range 3 to 49, p = 0.006) on the left. For 87% of the participants, a nametag is expected and important and nearly all participants (96%) expected the physician to introduce himself verbally. CONCLUSION It is expected that a physician wears a nametag and introduce himself verbally at the first encounter. Positioning the nametag on the right chest side results in better and faster visibility.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The patient-physician relation begins when the physician introduces himself with name and function. Most institutions request a nametag with name and function to be worn. Although nametags are consequently worn, the optimal position for the nametag is unknown. It was the purpose of this study to identify whether positioning the nametag on the right or the left chest side provides better visibility to the patient. METHOD AND MATERIAL One hundred volunteers, blinded to the experimental setup, presented for an orthopedic consultation in a standardized manner. The nametag of the physician was randomly positioned on the left chest side and presented to 50 individuals (age 35 years (range 17 to 83)) or the right chest side and then presented to 50 other individuals (35 years (range 16 to 59)). The time of the participant noticing the nametag was documented. Subsequently, the participant was questioned concerning the relevance of a nametag and verbal self-introduction of the physician. RESULTS 38% of the participants noticed the nametag on the right as opposed to 20% who noticed it if placed on the left upper chest (p = 0.0473). The mean time to detection was 9 (range 1-40) seconds for nametags on the right and 25.2 seconds (range 3 to 49, p = 0.006) on the left. For 87% of the participants, a nametag is expected and important and nearly all participants (96%) expected the physician to introduce himself verbally. CONCLUSION It is expected that a physician wears a nametag and introduce himself verbally at the first encounter. Positioning the nametag on the right chest side results in better and faster visibility.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:16 March 2015
Deposited On:02 Apr 2015 08:52
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 01:20
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119042
PubMed ID:25775376

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