The New Patient Gown

  • PARTNER: Care + Wear

    GOAL: Reimagine the traditional hospital gown and significantly improve functionality and the patient experience

    APPROACH: Millions of medical patients’ treatment begins with the standard-issue hospital gown. Care + Wear, a company specializing in medical wearables, looked to redesign the hospital gown to provide patients with more protection than what they are currently offered while giving them a sense of comfort and dignity as they undergo treatment.

    Care + Wear sponsored a course at Parsons School of Design in which students researched and prototyped an innovative new design that would greatly improve the patient experience yet could be developed, mass-produced and put into use in just six months.

    OUTCOME: At Parsons, our integration of systems-based design strategies is helping to generate a new landscape for fashion. Our students continually rethink current systems and develop new fashion models that address critical social issues.

    Students spent a semester working with Care + Wear, designing and iterating a new kind of gown that provides greater coverage for the patient and better functionality for healthcare workers. Students in the course focused on researching and creating a design in which the entire lifecycle of the gown — from production to transport, storage, user experience, laundering, and ultimately disposal — was taken into consideration.

    Working closely with patients, designers, nurses, doctors, hospital leaders, and laundering experts across the country, the students produced the Patient Gown. The new design is a kimono-inspired gown that opens in the front, has a shielding pleat in the back, and allows for access through the use of ties and snaps. The Patient Gown replaces the five types of standard gowns by combining them into one. It has features such as IV access, pockets for personal items, and thumb tab tie strings for secure robe closure to help provide patients and clinicians with a much more positive experience. The Patient Gown was finalized for market and has already been adopted by several hospitals in the United States.

    This close collaboration shows how human-centered design can be used to produce a measurable positive impact on the health and lives of patients.

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