Earlier this week we reported on an effort at North Carolina State University to develop a better patient gown, seeing how no one ever liked the conventional tie-in-back style. To be honest, we weren’t particularly excited about the aesthetics – the design looked like a copy of typical nurse’s scrubs we see every day. Turns out that the University of Cincinnati has teamed up with Hill-Rom Company, Inc., of Batesville, Indiana, to brainstorm through possible innovations to improve the gown, the results of which will be shown at the university’s June 12 fashion show.
Here’s from the University of Cincinnati via gizmag:
And so, the solution eventually offered by the UC students is a “Progressive Recovery Collection.” These are options for multiple gowns that can, importantly, all be created from one pattern – a practice that would cut down on waste and inefficiency.
The options are:
One gown for seriously ill bed ridden patients. Another gown for the somewhat mobile patient. A third gown for the fully ambulatory.
The most important thing for a bedridden patient is to prevent pressure ulcers, according to Brooke Brandewie, a student who graduated from the product-development track of UC’s fashion design program in June 2008 and who is now working at the Live Well Collaborative as a design research associate.
“We created a gown that will allow the mattress to be the mattress. The gown is open backed for high-risk, immobile patients so the areas on the body (most susceptible to pressure ulcers) can be healed from the mattress technology, without fabric bunching in between,” Brandewie explained.
In addition, this gown (and the others created by the students) provides easy access at the shoulder – via slits and closures in the design – so that caregivers may operate IV units or other drug-delivery tools.
The students recommend that this gown – and the related versions – be made from naturally anti-microbial materials like bamboo or crabyon (a material actually made from crab shells).
There’s nothing as comfortable as a bath robe, or your own clothes that you wear at home. And that’s the inspiration behind a gown created by the UC students for the semi-mobile patient. It mimics “comfort clothes.”
Said Brandewie, “As the patient improves in condition, they will ‘graduate’ to the next gown appropriate for their condition and mobility. It not only represents the patient’s progressive physical improvement, it provides a psychological boost as well,” said Brandewie.
Like all the UC-created gowns, it closes not via standard ties currently in use with hospital gowns but via a closure like a bathrobe belt. It’s secure, comfortable, can fit to almost any size and is also more flattering to the human figure.
The gown has a full back and a kangaroo pocket in the front, recognizing that the patient will lie in bed, sit in a chair, stand and walk. Portions of the gown are made of special material to wick away moisture and sweat.
And in recognition of the reality that patients sitting or resting will be colder than those on the move, this gown comes with accessories: A scarf with a pocket, arm warmers, leg warmers and shawl, all made of bamboo jersey to integrate both extreme softness and anti-bacterial characteristics.