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CNO Leads $1M Charge for New Scrubs, Uniforms

 |  By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   August 26, 2014

The CNO of a Florida health system calls the organization's switch to new uniforms for 6,000 employees 'change management at its finest.'

Change can be tough for anyone, whether it's starting a new job or moving to a new city. But a $1 million, industry-first change that involves more than 6,000 employees requires exceptional leadership. That's where Diane Raines, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president and CNO for Jacksonville, Florida-based Baptist Health comes in.

Raines, along with Baptist Health COO John Wilbanks, FACHE, was the executive champion for an initiative to adopt new work garments made from antimicrobial, fluid-repelling, moisture-wicking fabric. Baptist Health was the first health system to widely adopt the Vestex uniforms from Vestagen Technical Textiles.


>>>Slideshow: Vestex at Baptist Health in Jacksonville

But the adoption of the new uniforms didn't happen overnight; and it also didn't happen without a lot of staff help and input.

"This has been three years in the making," Raines says. The process started with physicians and nurse epidemiologists watching and waiting for a couple of years as data started to show that the fabric was able to do things like reduce MRSA on apparel.

"From a medical standpoint, you want to make sure if you're going to make a change like this there is evidence behind it," Raines says. "We really looked at this not as uniforms but as technology that could help protect our staff and patients."

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Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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