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Ovation: Hospital Gowns With Backs!

04/21/2013

HospitalGownSeveral months ago I had a physical that involved a visit to the hospital.  Although I followed all of my doctor’s rules in advance of the appointment, I was still quite nervous as the inspection drew near.  I hadn’t eaten that morning in advance of having blood drawn and my stomach was upset from stress.  Too add to the embarrassment and humiliation of the procedure, I was asked to change into a “hospital gown”.  So there I was, backside exposed and feeling as vulnerable and undignified as possible.

Maybe the next time it won’t be so bad.  Someone has finally designed a decent hospital gown.

Michael Forbes of the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in Detroit is the lead designer on the new gown, which looks like a wraparound bathrobe, is made of thicker material to keep patients warmer and closes with snaps instead of ties so it’s adjustable to fit both large and small-framed patients.

They have backs!

“It’s warmer, it closes in the front, it’s much easier to put on and patients feel much more secure and have a sense of privacy which is nice.” – Michael Forbes, Henry Ford Innovation Institute

Using the results of patient questionnaires to guide their design, Forbes and his team included features in the new gown that focus on patient comfort as well as care.  For example, there’s an access flap from the neck to the lower back that allows doctors and nurses to check for vitals, breathing, etc. that remains closed until it’s needed.  The new design also allows for easy access with regard to IVs, medical lines and other clinical necessities.

“The new gown looks like something at a spa.  It looks like it will promote wellness.  Mentally, it might help patients get out of the mind frame of being at a hospital.” – Kelsey Jenison, Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle

So far, patient response to the new hospital gown has been positive and Forbes hopes to license the design to an existing manufacturer so it can be produced and sold nationwide.  His research indicates that, currently, hospital patients often use two gowns to cover up so his team’s new design can reduce the overall costs of gown by decreasing the number kept in inventory and the amount of laundering involved.

I hope they catch on fast!  Quickly … before my next physical!

Have you ever been embarrassed in a hospital gown?

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5 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    begs to ask.. why where they designed with the open backside in the first place ??? What purpose could an exposed buttocks ever serve ??? And why would “they” want the patient to put their naked bottom on the chair or bed, ?????

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  2. Oh I wish I didn’t know how important this little bit of pride can be to a patient. But maybe that’s why the old style ones exist — as a sort of hospital equivalent of the banner over the gate at Auschwitz: “Abandon pride ye who enter this hospital.”

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  3. Agreed on the gown. Need to make people more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

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  4. Barneysday permalink

    I’ve actually always refused to put the gown on as directed, instead put it on like a jacket or shirt, with the opening in the front. Works fine 90% of the time.

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  5. I’m all for hospital gowns with backs, having spent a lot of time in the hospital over my life I would appreciate the privacy!

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