While Ive certainly received enough bad press and nasty letters from unidentified citizens concerning our decision at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh to disallow clogs with large openings in the top surfaces, I do have a problem with your reference to our policy: Pittsburgh Mercy Health System has become healthcares latest fashion victim, putting its stylishly clad foot in its mouth when it banned all shoes with open toes or holes from patient-care areas at the hospital."
We were very specific in all interviews that this was not a brand specific issue, and tried to emphasize that this was an employee safety concern.
In a flyer we created for our employees to try to explain the rationale for this change, we noted that we were adding only a few words to an existing 12-page policy, which now states that clogs with openings in the top surface are among the shoes that do not provide optimal protection of the feet (that) may not be worn in clinical areas where employees could potentially sustain sharps injuries due to dropped equipment or syringes.
I know many of my colleagues have the same wording in their policies; Mercy just chooses to enforce our employee and patient safety policies. I dont know if any operating rooms in this country allow surgical personnel to wear sandals in the OR, but if our interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations work practice controls is overkill, there may be some poor nurse or physician in our employ who might be spared from hepatitis C or HIV infection when someone drops a scalpel during a procedure.
Sharon KrystofiakManagerInfection controlMercy Hospital of Pittsburgh