Detroit hospital unveils less revealing gown for patients

An undated photo provided Tuesday, April 9, 2013, by the Henry Ford Hospital shows a new patient gown being used at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The gown aims to offer a little more style, comfort and rear coverage for patients. It was developed by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. (AP PHOTO/Riva Sayegh-McCullen) AP

DETROITA Detroit hospital has a new patient gown that aims to offer a little more style, comfort and - perhaps most importantly - rear coverage for patients.

Resembling a wrap-around robe, the gown closes in the back and front and is made of a thicker, cotton and polyester blend than a typical gown to keep patients warmer. It has three snaps, instead of ties, to close it, and it's accessible for IVs and other medical lines.

"A simple change can have a large impact on the patients' stay at a hospital," said Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute and graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

The new gown is being used on several inpatient floors at Henry Ford Hospital after about two years of work on its design, the hospital said.

The gown was developed by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies. The "No. 1 goal was to close the backside of the gown," Forbes said in a statement Monday, and officials hope to license the design to an existing manufacturer.

One patient testing the new robe, Dr. Ismail Khalil, a vascular surgeon from Lebanon, Mich. who was set to undergo a liver transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, told CBS Detroit the new robe is a big upgrade.

"The old gown was uncomfortable with the ties in the back; I did not like it," he said. "I'd much rather walk down the hall in the new gown; it fits well and you feel decent. It looks good too. What more could you want?"

Forbes added to CBS Detroit the new gown has similar manufacturing costs to older models, and meats current national hospital cleaning standards.

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