The Patient Gown, A Century Old Problem…

The traditional patient gown has been around for what seems to be at least a century or more, but yet the traditional patient gown continues to be imposed on patients with no regard to clinical care or safety. Healthcare continues to be caught up in being SLOW to change and being caught in the rut of doing things the same way because it has always been done that way. A few organizations have taken on the challenge of changing the gown without much success, and I applaud their great efforts. The traditional patient gown will always remain an iconic symbol but I wish someone would actually take the time and track and trend data for the number of adverse events that are associated with wearing the traditional patient gown, as I still firmly believe the traditional patient gown causes many issues: 1) it conceals lines and tubes for the clinical staff potentially leading to adverse events, 2) the weight and length of the gown are bulky for an aging patient population placing patients at a greater risk for falling, 3) the material used to manufacture the gown is not well matched to maintain skin integrity, 4) and of course, the backside exposure remains a huge issue. So what will it take? A major mistake to go down in history for the realization of a newly redesigned patient gown? Patient safety should be at the forefront of every healthcare organization. This is an opportunity for healthcare and textile manufacturing to take on this challenge and lead the way to a better safer healthcare system. In my heart’s desire, I truly believe my redesigned patient gown-CII has all the basic elements of a successful patient gown to replace the traditional gown. The most notable feature of my redesigned hospital gown is that the back of the gown is closed, eliminating the most common complaint patients have about the patient gown. CII (catastropheic illness and injury) opens from the side allowing the gown to be EASILY worn by patients and allowing quick visualization by the clinical team when needed. CII also allows for lines and tubes to be visible outside of the gown allowing for care and treatment to be rendered, and lines to be easily reconciled during care. The redesigned gown has an eyelet to anchor tubes and drains above the centralized surgical pocket, which is one of three ports/pockets also making the gown unique to the marketplace. Change can be difficult, but sometimes you have to dream the unimaginable if you want something different to occur. Finding opportunities where no one else seems to be looking.…#BuildaBetterPatientGown                     Copyright © 2017 Tracey L. Kennedy

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