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Friday, August 13, 2010

Cleveland Clinic Designs a Better Hospital Gown

Posted By on Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM

So freeing, so comfy, so... feminine.
  • So freeing, so comfy, so... feminine.

If you've ever spent time in a hospital then you've undoubtedly worn a hospital gown. The "Johnny gown" has been around forever, exposing buttocks, breasts, back fat, and every other unseemly and intimate part of a patient's anatomy for just as long.

Besides being unflattering, the gown is also plain uncomfortable. And annoying. Let's not forget annoying.

If you've ever worn one and thought, "I might as well just wrap a sheet around my body," you're not far off from the true origins of the "Johnny gown": Its design supposedly evolved from, you guessed it, a sheet. And everyone knows sheets are good for wrapping dead bodies, not live ones

The Cleveland Clinic recently unveiled an improved version, one most likely designed with clothes and not linens in mind, that it hopes will catch on and, most importantly, cover your junk more effectively. Newsweek has the details:

For the past several months, the Cleveland Clinic (in Cleveland) has been piloting a new prototype hospital-gown design it hopes will significantly improve patients’ experiences with a garment that has been the, um, butt of jokes over decades, as well as the subject of countless cultural references.

“I’ve been a nurse for almost 30 years, and the gown leaves much to be desired,” says Jeanne Ryan, who works at Cleveland Clinic and has led the redesign project for the past three years.

It's not the first time someone's tried to re-envision the simple hospital garment. Hackensack Medical center, the Maine Medical Center in Portland, and the College of Textiles have all taken whacks at producing a better gown, enlisting top-notch designers like Nicole Miller and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

Still, the Clinic thought it could do better.

Jeanne Ryan worked with noted designer Diane von Furstenberg for the past couple of years on the specs. The resulting creation, recently unveiled in a trial run at the Clinic, includes a reversible design incorporating the Clinic's logo with von Furstenberg's signature, an elastic waist-band, and a tidy V-neck collar.

It's been generally well received so far, except for the complaint from men that it looks a little feminine, which shouldn't surprise you at all if you looked at the picture accompanying these words; everyone knows men would rather have their ass hanging out for the world to see than wear something frilly and girly.

(Hat tip to Crain's Cleveland)

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