Hospital Gown Has Patients Covered at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

April 29, 2015

DETROIT – Model G™ – the new Detroit-designed hospital gown that finally closes the drafty, embarrassing backside – arrives this week for patients at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Designed by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, Model G resembles a wrap-around robe to blend style and comfort for the patient with essential clinical function needed by the patient’s health care team.

“It’s such a simple gesture,” says Lynn Torossian, president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. “But it’s so important to respect patients’ dignity and privacy, and it’s really appreciated.”

The new gown is made from a cotton-poplin blend and features plastic snaps, instead of hard-to-reach ties, for ease of use.

Most notably, Model G fixes a major design flaw that has plagued patients since Henry Ford’s Model T automobile rolled off the assembly line – it closes the backside.

“Our No. 1 goal with this design was fixing the backside of the gown – patients’ biggest complaint – while still allowing the health care team full access to the patient,” says Michael Forbes, a product designer at the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where the new gown was invented and tested by patients.

More than 35,000 gowns are rolling out this month throughout Henry Ford’s hospitals including Detroit, Macomb and Wyandotte.

The gowns arriving this month are navy and light blue, to coincide with the Henry Ford Health System colors. The colors, however, can easily be modified for other hospitals to fit their brand.

Detroit-based legend Carhartt, a premier American work wear brand, manufactured the gowns, with the first wave arriving this week for patients on several inpatient units at Henry Ford Hospital.

Model G will be gradually phased in to the inpatient hospital units during the next couple of months. Planning is underway to schedule the arrival of Model G at Henry Ford medical centers.

The new patient hospital gown was created and tested at Henry Ford to be safely used for inpatient hospital stays, clinic visits and medical tests, including MRI and CT scans.

The Model G patient hospital gown is:

  • Closed in the back with a fold-over access panel, offering patients more privacy
  • Made of a thicker, cotton/poplin blend material, which keeps patients warmer than the previous patient gowns
  • Double-breasted in the front, using plastic snaps, instead of ties, to close the gown and adjust its size
  • Intuitive in design, with different colored trim and stitching along the left and right shoulders of the gown, making it easy for nurses or patients to assemble.
  • 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
  • Tailored to fit a variety of patient populations, with snaps on either side of the gown allowing it to adjust from size medium to 2XL.

Model G is among the first inventions to be made public and produced for patient use by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute.

And its name is a tribute to hospital founder Henry Ford’s innovative and iconic Model T automobile

Like the Model T, the concept for Model G began with a simple idea from students at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. More than three years ago, the students collaborated with the Innovation Institute to take a fresh, non-clinical look at items throughout the hospital and offer feedback for improvement.

They immediately saw the hospital gown as an opportunity and challenge for a complete redesign.

Since then, Model G has gone through several redesigns and a clinical trial with inpatients at Henry Ford Hospital who wore the gown during their hospital stay.

Patients provided feedback that helped the designers improve the location of the snap stitching, to improve comfort. Clinical staff from the Department of Radiology at Henry Ford Hospital tested snaps and provided feedback, which helped designers select snaps that could be used in radiology testing, including MRI and CT scans.

The cost to manufacture and purchase the new gown is in line with existing gowns, says Forbes. Laundering is exactly the same too; the new gown meets with current national hospital cleaning standards.

The Henry Ford Innovation Institute is currently conducting negotiations to establish licensing agreement(s) that would grant rights to produce the patent pending Model G design for other interested customers and health care systems.

Hospitals, health care systems, or potential licensees interested in learning more about gown availability may contact innovation@hfhs.org.

About Henry Ford Innovation Institute

The Henry Ford Innovation Institute is the flagship program of Henry Ford Health System’s commitment to innovation. The Institute enables research, training, and commercialization opportunities across Henry Ford Health System, and is part of the larger Innovations unit. It provides Henry Ford employees access to an array of intellectual and asset-related resources and programs that include technological opportunity assessment, engineering services for prototypes, seminars designed to convey opportunities, programs aimed at developing specific medical products and broad educational offerings in the realms of translational medicine and the entrepreneurial arts. Learn more at henryfordinnovation.com.

About Carhartt, Inc.

Established in 1889, Carhartt is a global premium work wear brand with a rich heritage of developing rugged apparel for workers on and off the job. Headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., with more than 4,400 employees worldwide, Carhartt is family-owned and managed by the descendants of the company’s founder, Hamilton Carhartt. For more information, visit www.carhartt.com.

Editor’s note: High resolution images of the Model G patient gown are available at: www.henryfordgalleries.com/Newsroom/Model-G/