Anyone who’s ever been a hospital patient knows that hospital gowns come in three sizes: short, shorter….and don’t bend over! They probably also know that hospital gowns are like health insurance – you can never have enough coverage!
But now the days of the drafty backside may be coming to a close, and hospital gowns may no longer be the perennial the butt of jokes.
A new patient gown that resembles a wrap-around robe that completely closes in the back and front, is being rolled out on several inpatient floors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. It is among the first inventions to be made public by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies.
The traditional back slit hospital gown has been completely designed and in its place is a stylish gown that blends style for the patient with clinical function for the health care team.
- Completely closed in the back, creating more privacy for patients
- Made of a thicker, cotton/polyester blend material, which keeps patients warmer
- Double-breasted in the front, using three snaps, instead of ties, to close the gown
- Intuitive in design, with different colored snaps and stitching along the left and right sides of the gown, making it easy for patients to put on
- Accessible for IVs and other medical lines.
“Our No. 1 goal was to close the backside of the gown with our design,” says Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute and graduate of the College for Creative Studies . “A simple change can have a large impact on the patients’ stay at a hospital. By creating a hospital gown that is safe, stylish and comfortable, we’ve made the patient feel more at home, like they’re wearing their own garments.”
The gown, which began with a drawing two years ago has been tested by patients like Ismail Khalil, M.D., a vascular surgeon from Lebanon who traveled to Henry Ford Hospital for a liver transplant. Dr. Khalil has the unique perspective as both a physician and now a patient on the design of the new hospital gown versus the traditional hospital gown.
“The new gown is the ultimate in simplicity and sophistication,” he says. “The old gown was uncomfortable with the ties in the back; I did not like it. I’d much rather walk down the hall in the new gown; it fits well and you feel decent. It looks good too. What more could you want?”
The new gown can also be size adjusted using snaps on either side of the gown, allowing for it to fit more patients with a single design. Currently it comes in navy and light blue, to coincide with the Henry Ford Hospital colors but could easily be modified for other hospitals.
The cost to manufacture and purchase the new gown is very comparable to existing gowns, and laundering is exactly the same too. The goal, says Forbes, is to license the design to an existing gown manufacturer, which would then produce and sell the gown nationally.
A move which can’t come soon enough for those looking for a little less Southern exposure!