Clear face masks preferred by many patients

Clear Face Mask vs Traditional Face Mask

Clear face masks preferred by many patients

Healthcare delivery significantly changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread use of face masks became a prominent symbol of infection prevention. Face masks were undeniably vital for safeguarding public health during the pandemic. Yet, the unintended effects on communication between doctors and patients have highlighted a significant concern. Leading researchers to examine the use of clear face masks. 

A pioneering study conducted at the University of North Carolina (UNC) examined the profound implications of clear face masks on patient trust. Researchers also looked at the quality of communication between surgeons and their patients. This study unveiled the basic value of unobstructed visual cues and facial expressions in nurturing patient trust, fostering understanding, and ultimately improving medical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Study: Wearing a clear face mask improves communication

The study, led by Dr. Ian M. Kratzke and his team, sought to unravel the impact of clear face masks compared to conventional covered masks on communication dynamics during surgical clinic interactions. With about 200 patients and 15 surgeons spanning various specialties, the randomized clinical trial coordinated an unprecedented exploration into the influence of mask transparency on patient perceptions and surgeon performance. Researchers included questions to measure how patients perceived their surgeon’s communication, empathy, and trust. Furthermore, they captured the nuances of patient impressions surrounding the surgeon’s choice of mask

Key Insights and Implications

The study’s discovery was clear: traditional covered masks unintentionally hindered facial expressions and nonverbal signals. These findings hold significant implications for patient care and the surgeon-patient relationship. Patients reported higher satisfaction and improved communication when interacting with surgeons wearing clear face masks. Notably, patients in the clear mask group consistently rated their surgeon’s performance significantly higher in providing understandable explanations, demonstrating empathy, and eliciting trust.

The study uncovered that when surgeons wore covered masks, important elements of effective communication like facial expressions and nonverbal cues were hindered. Patients who could see their surgeon’s entire face via the clear mask felt more connected and understood, leading to enhanced patient trust and satisfaction.

Practical Application of the Study

The ramifications of this study span beyond the pandemic context, surrounding the broader framework of patient-centric care. The core of healthcare delivery hinges upon strong communication between care providers and patients. Effective communication forms the bedrock of informed decision-making and treatment compliance. The study’s insightful perspective encourages the advocacy for clear face masks. Their use is particularly important within contexts where communication is paramount, such as surgical clinic engagements. Clear masks are symbolic of a communication catalyst. The use of clear face masks avoids the limitations imposed by traditional masks to seamlessly facilitate dialogue through visual cues.

Safe’N’Clear: Revolutionizing Communication in Healthcare

Safe’N’Clear manufactures the first FDA-approved mask with a clear window made in the USA. Patients and doctors use The Communicator Mask™ to prioritize clear and effective communication. Originally intended for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients in medical and dental situations, the UNC study shows that clear face masks offer advantages to all patients, regardless of hearing capabilities. The Communicator Mask™ provides an innovative solution that bridges the communication gap caused by traditional covered masks. These masks facilitate effective communication, foster trust, and enhance patient satisfaction by offering a clear view of the wearer’s face.


The UNC study’s groundbreaking findings emphasize the crucial role of clear face masks in maintaining effective communication and building trust between medical professionals and patients. As healthcare continues to evolve, solutions like the Communicator Mask™ play a pivotal role in ensuring patient-centered care.

Promoting transparent communication through clear face masks allows healthcare providers to enhance the surgeon-patient relationship significantly. Integrating clear face masks in healthcare enhances understanding, builds trust, and shifts focus toward patient-centric care. The study shows the use of clear face masks lights the path toward a future characterized by unwavering trust, enriched communication, and optimal patient outcomes.


Kratzke IM, Rosenbaum ME, Cox C, Ollila DW, Kapadia MR. Effect of Clear vs Standard Covered Masks on Communication With Patients During Surgical Clinic Encounters: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Surg. 2021 Apr 1;156(4):372-378. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0836. PMID: 33704389; PMCID: PMC7953334.