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TGH outfitting employees with large photo badges as part of their 'SMILE Behind the Mask' initiative

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 18:16:11-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The pandemic has changed a lot of things inside our hospitals, and one of them, is the ability to see the faces of the healthcare workers providing care to patients.

But the team at Tampa General Hospital is on a mission to fix that!

They started the ‘SMILE Behind the Mask’ initiative, working to print out picture cards for each of their employees to attach to their badge.

The photo cards showcase a big picture of each staff member with their name across the bottom, and it gives them the opportunity to flip their regular badge over to their picture badge while interacting with patients.

TGH says they got the idea earlier in the year when a hospital in New York City started pinning photos to their PPE. They wanted to do something similar to make each patient's experience at the hospital more personable.

“The practice of adding a picture to the outside of your PPE, actually, from a safety perspective, isn’t the best. We don’t want to take things into the room that can get contaminated, so we had the idea of using these badges that we already wear, and simply turning them onto the back, and so this is a plastic, cleanable product that we produce, actually, in house,” said Lara Klick, Vice President and Chief Patient Experience Officer at Tampa General Hospital.

TGH is not only starting the initiative for patients but for their coworkers as well, making it a team effort to take pictures of each other as they work to outfit everyone with a photo card.

They hope to have every employee inside the hospital wearing a badge by the end of October.