If doctors wear white coats, they should leave them on hooks when they enter patient rooms, the new guidelines say.
White coats should be washed at least once a week, and clothing that comes into contact with patients should be washed daily.
The authors of the new standards say studies do not prove there is a direct link between attire and infection but a link is possible.
"Protecting our patients from harm is the goal of every hospital's patient safety efforts, and preventing the spread of infection is one of the most important things we can do to keep patients safe," said Nancy Foster, vice president of quality and patient safety for the American Hospital Association.
Humphreys says there is no significant cost associated with the new guidelines.