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article imageGiving hospital gowns a makeover

By Tim Sandle     Apr 6, 2015 in Health
There are many things about staying in hospital that are unpleasant for the patient, in addition to the procedure. These may include the environment, the food and even the gown. But one innovator wants to change what patients wear.
Many hospital gowns are of variable quality; sometimes they are made from cheap fabrics, at other times they are composed of a grade just one up from paper. They are also invariably designed to leave a patient's behind exposed.
In order to improve the quality of gowns and to help raise the dignity of the patient, Adrienne Boissy has pushed forward a new design of gowns for patients at the Cleveland Clinic. This follows the CEO of the hospital overhearing several complaints by patients.
Boissy has the grandiose title of "chief experience officer" at the Cleveland Clinic, which is seemingly something unique to the expensive U.S. healthcare system. Given that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services increasingly factors patients’ satisfaction into its quality measures (and upon which Medicare payments are dependent), hospitals are creating such positions.
For this reason Boissy is tasked with finding ways for making the experience of patients better during their course of hospital treatment. The Cleveland Clinic is a multi-specialty academic medical center located in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic was ranked number one in the U.S. for cardiac care from 1994 to 2014.
To help design a new gown, the medical center turned to Diane von FĂĽrstenberg, a Belgian-born American fashion designer best known for her iconic wrap dress.
According to The Atlantic, the fashion guru came up with a reversible gown, designed with a front and back V-neck, providing complete derriere coverage, and features such as pockets, softer fabric, and a new, bolder print pattern.
The reaction from the patients was positive, to the extent that Adrienne Boissy hopes other U.S, hospitals will make similar innovations. What went on at Cleveland certainly influenced the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Here the hospital administrators turned to the College for Creative Studies to design a less flimsy, more robust gown (and one that is intended to better looking too.) The college came up with a navy blue gown that is comprised of a warmer fabric.
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