The New Patient Gown

A couple of years ago, I posted on the blog – in 140 characters or less, as if I was live-tweeting from the hospital – about my experience as a patient undergoing an MRI.

You may recall a few of my “tweets” from that post: “Are any hospital gowns made for someone over 6 feet?” and “Need two gowns, you don’t want to see what’s behind #youtube.”

These are the same complaints we’ve heard for decades about the standard patient gown – it’s ill-fitting, uncomfortable and has a very drafty backside.

And now, we have a solution: A newly designed patient gown that’s comfortable, warm and keeps patient covered, yet still accessible to clinical staff.

Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, talks with patient Ismail Khalil, M.D., a vascular surgeon from Lebanon who traveled to Henry Ford Hospital for a liver transplant. Dr. Khalil is wearing the new patient gown.

Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, talks with patient Ismail Khalil, M.D., who traveled to Henry Ford Hospital from Lebanon for a liver transplant. Khalil is wearing the new gown.

The new patient gown – resembling a wrap-around robe that completely closes in the back and front – is being rolled out on several inpatient floors at Henry Ford Hospital.

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 newly designed gown is:

  • Completely closed in the back, creating more privacy for patients
  • Made of a thicker, cotton/polyester blend material, which keeps patients warmer than the previous patient gowns
  • 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. The health care teams say it offers them uncompromised clinical access to the patient without needing to remove the gown

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The Annual Quality Expo

This week marked Henry Ford Health System’s 21st Annual Quality Expo.

The Quality Expo, hosted at Henry Ford Hospital, offers an opportunity for all of Henry Ford Health System to showcase the innovations and improvements made by our employees, departments and hospitals in the areas of health care quality, patient safety and care delivery.

Leo, a therapy dog at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, is one of the most remarkable therapists that I have ever encountered. Leo and HFWH’s Pet Therapy Program were featured at the Quality Expo.

Henry Ford is the only health care provider in southeast Michigan to host such an event.

The Quality Expo’s features 70 projects, all of which are aimed at reducing medical errors and improving patient safety, quality and satisfaction.

As always at this event, I was truly impressed, as I walked through the poster presentations and spoke with colleagues, by the tremendous work being done by our health care teams to continuously enhance quality and safety throughout the system.

I did stop to see one of our employees, Leo, a therapy dog at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

Leo is one of the most remarkable therapists that I have ever encountered.  He is calm, friendly, and extraordinarily soothing, and part of a great program of pet therapy throughout our System.  Within minutes of being with him, all of my concerns and anxieties were gone.

(Of course, my own dog, Co Co, previously feature in Doc In the D, continues to be the one I confide in the most.  Co Co’s colleague, Mr. Mo, aka Uncle Mo, provides coverage as needed. Sometimes both are needed to “treat” me.)  Continue reading

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