DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has a new patient gown that aims to offer a little more style, comfort and — perhaps most importantly — rear coverage for patients.
Resembling a wrap-around robe, the gown closes in the back and front and is made of a thicker, cotton and polyester blend than a typical gown to keep patients warmer. It has three snaps, instead of ties, to close it, and it’s accessible for IVs and other medical lines.
“A simple change can have a large impact on the patients’ stay at a hospital,” said Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute and graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
The gown was developed by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies. The “No. 1 goal was to close the backside of the gown,” Forbes said in a statement Monday, and officials hope to license the design to an existing manufacturer.
The new gown is being used on several inpatient floors at Henry Ford Hospital after about two years of work on its design, the hospital said.
The gown is now being tested by patients like Ismail Khalil, M.D., a vascular surgeon from Lebanon who traveled to Henry Ford Hospital for a liver transplant. 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 said. “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 is tailored to fit two patient populations. Using the snaps on either side of the gown, it can adjust from a size large to an extra-large, allowing for it to fit more patients with a single design.
The cost to manufacture and purchase the new gown is very comparable to existing gowns, Forbes said. Laundering is exactly the same too; the new gown meets with current national hospital cleaning standards.
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