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

Continue reading

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At Your Service

Ever show up at a new location for an important event or meeting, maybe a new city, say a hotel or large office building, and your first response is: “Where am I, and where do I go?”

I certainly have (unfortunately that is happening to me even when I go to an old location!).

No map or sign ever seems to be good enough to navigate, although I do like instructions like “follow the yellow arrow.” 

Isn’t it great when someone takes the time to direct you and escort you to where you need to go?

Coming to a large, hospital in an unfamiliar city to navigate your way through an already complex System, is … quite frankly, overwhelming.

As we work toward making it simple to get around a very large institution like Henry Ford Hospital, we have learned from the hotel industry that there is no substitute for a person to help patients through an anxiety.

Regardless of where you’re traveling, it is not uncommon to be assisted by a concierge team when checking into your hotel. You may be greeted by a concierge member who shares with you any necessary information you may need for your stay and he or she is available at any time to answer your questions and concerns.

When coming to a new hospital and clinic, this type of service is vital to lessen the stress and make sure the patient and family can concentrate on the medical issues and return to health.

I was given the opportunity to shadow Delise Baker, one of Henry Ford Hospital’s concierge members  from the Referring Physician’s Office.

With approximately 40 percent of outstate growth patients coming to the hospital from more than 35 miles away, this is not only an added customer service amenity for our patients – it’s a necessity. Continue reading

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Q: What Do You Hope to Accomplish?

I am going to ask you a question.

You have 15 seconds to answer it:

Looking back on your career and life 20 or 30 years from now, what do yo want to say you’ve accomplished?  Go.

Here’s my response to the question:

I want to have moved Henry Ford Hospital to greater national prominence for excellence in health care and transformed our immediate neighborhood into a vibrant safe and enriching community.

Now it’s your turn.

Please post your responses below in the comments section.

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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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Every Vote Counts

Tuesday, Nov. 6  is an important day for all.

Patient Bernie Mack with hospital volunteer Lizette W. on Monday during the Bedside Voting Project.

It is a day that can change the course of our nation, merely by what you choose to do on that day.

Many in our country may be disillusioned by politics.  Many may feel that an individual vote may not matter in a sea of other voters in a national election.

I will not bore you with the details of the times in which one person, one action or one vote changed the course of an election or the course of history.

Others have fought, been imprisoned and died for the right to vote.  Each of our votes are a critical acknowledgment of the importance of those sacrifices.

I do not care for whom you vote.

I trust in the collective wisdom of our people to choose wisely and in the best interest of our City, State and Nation.

My message is simple: Take time to vote on Tuesday.

The voting process is so vital that Henry Ford Hospital has taken major efforts to ensure our patients who are hospitalized on election day can still get out their vote.

Our volunteers on Monday assisted countless patients with emergency ballot applications, faxing it to the patient’s respective clerk’s office where a ballot is generated, and then driving to the clerk’s office to pick up the ballot and returning the sealed ballot after the patient completes it.

It’s quite an amazing process.

I want to thank all of our volunteers and staff  involved with the bedside voting project for their work to make every vote count this election.

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To Colbert, With Love from Detroit

An invitation to Stephen Colbert to come to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit

Dear Mr. Colbert:

I am a particular fan of your political commentary. You appear to be much more insightful than other television personalities, such as Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow, although both of them seem to interject greater humor into their shows.

What I do like is your emphasis on Detroit in your comments. I particularly like the way in which you use satire to emphasize the great aspects of this city. Bravo!

See more great photos of Detroit, like the one posted above at HFH, on Facebook.

Clearly, your admiration of our city is drawing you and your entourage to “The D.” I heard several Detroiters had created a light-hearted and fun social media group called “Colbert Does Detroit (and so can you!)” aimed at bringing Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and you to Detroit.

I felt it was a great opportunity for me to invite you to Henry Ford Hospital to show our pride in the flagship of the Baldrige Award winning Henry Ford Health System and for the city that’s been our home since 1915.

We are in Midtown, where young people are moving in record numbers, revitalizing this part of the city, which includes Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Orchestra Hall, the Detroit Public Library, and numerous other cultural and social sites.

So, Mr. Colbert, I know you want to come to Detroit to experience these great things first hand, but perhaps need a bit more prompting.  You have an open invitation to come visit us.

Sincerely,

Dr. John Popovich, Jr.
CEO and President
Henry Ford Hospital

By the way, Henry Ford Hospital loves Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” Really talented and funny guy!  Please give him our best!

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Border-to-Border Teamwork Gets Patient Back on the Ice

Earlier this year, I shared a story about Jaime McDermott, the Leamington Flyer assistant coach who crossed the border for life-saving surgery for an ascending aortic aneurism at Henry Ford Hospital.

And I’m not just bringing up this story again because it’s an opportunity to talk about hockey while we await the return of our players to Hockeytown.

Mr. McDermott returned this week to Leamington District Memorial Hospital, to celebrate his incredible recovery and thank the staff there and the staff at Henry Ford Hospital – the two teams that worked together to ensure he would remain a vibrant husband, father, coach, and member of the Leamington community.

This story stands as great example of our relationship with the Canadian health care system. Henry Ford Hospital is ready to provide the best of care to the sickest of patients when alternatives cannot be provided from Canadian resources.

Following Mr. McDermott’s recovery, I sent a letter to Terry Shields, the acting-CEO of Leamington District Memorial Hospital.

In it, I wrote about what we often refer to as the “Miracles on the Boulevard.” These miracles are the product of many individuals, from first responders, to emergency personnel, to transporters, to customs agents, to the treating surgeons, physicians, and nurses.

The story behind the diagnosis, treatment, and eventual dramatic recovery is a tribute to all of these individuals, who, if there was delay or misstep in any part of the process, would not have created the opportunity for Mr. McDermott to be celebrated today. Continue reading

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Transporting Service Excellence

Whether it’s an inpatient arriving for an x-ray or CT scan, or a patient coming in for a routine clinic appointment, getting patients comfortably and safely from Point A to Point B is a vital component of the patient care experience at Henry Ford Hospital.

And if you’ve seen our team of patient transporters in action, you know it’s not an easy job.

Give it a try someday.

From moving a patient safely out of bed, to negotiating too narrow doorways, to maneuvering beds, gurneys or wheelchairs through the maze of corridors and crowded hallways, all while keeping the patient calm and relaxed and ensuring the patient receives a smooth and timely ride to the next destination in their treatment of care.

Have you ever tried just walking through the main hallway during the lunch hour or walking the patient floors during the height of morning patient care and rounding?

Imagine trying to weave through that crowd with a patient, equipment and a gurney.

The job of a patient transporter is essential to the everyday activity of clinicians too.

That’s why I wanted to highlight the important (and at times overlooked) role of the patient transporter, by taking a walk in the shoes of Willard Robinson.

Willard has been with the System for more than 20 years. He’s also someone I consider a “legacy employee,” because his mother also worked many years for the hospital.

Like many of our employees, Willard goes out of his way to ensure he not only does his job, but puts his patients first. Continue reading

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2-Year Anniversary, Part 2: Plans for the Future

View “Part 1” of the two-year anniversary video here.

So what do you think about the future plans for Henry Ford Hospital and our accomplishments during this past year? Share your comments below.

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2-Year Anniversary, Part 1: Celebrating What We’ve Accomplished

 

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