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New gown eliminates fear of exposing backside at Henry Ford Allegiance Health

JACKSON, MI – The hospital gowns at Henry Ford Allegiance Health no longer will be the butt of jokes.

Posing in front of a 1927 Ford Model T Doctor's Coupe, hospital employees showed off the newest patient gown – the Model G – Monday, Nov. 14. Starting this week, the traditional tie-in-the-back gowns are being replaced with 3,800 of these privacy-oriented gowns.

"If you think of every joke you've seen that involves hospitals, it usually involves a gown with the backside exposed," Georgia Fojtasek, Henry Ford Allegiance Health president and CEO, said at during the unveiling.

The Model G has a wrap-around-robe design with reinforced snaps instead of ties – eliminating the nightmare of accidentally showing off your backside on a trip down the hall.

Inspiration for the Model G name came from Henry Ford's Model T, said Michael Forbes, product designer and licensing associate at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute. The Model T on display Monday was from Lloyd Ganton's Ye Ole Carriage Shop in Spring Arbor.

The new robes are adjustable for patient size and have easy access snaps on the arms for IVs and other medical procedures. The soft material also is less likely to get twisted around the patient, Fojtasek said. Hospitals around the world are instituting the product developed in Michigan.

The health system paired with local seamstresses on the design, including Dearborn-based Carhartt.

The Model G was developed at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute. More than 35,000 were introduced at other Henry Ford hospitals two years ago. Henry Ford and Allegiance Health combined forces on April 1, helping bring the product to Jackson.

Now partnered with Henry Ford Health System, Allegiance Health to unveil new name

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, in front of the hospital on E. Michigan Avenue. What the name will be is not being released, spokesperson Vicky Lorencen said.

"It might seem little, but we've actually been able to show that it elevates (the patient's) experience and gives them a little bit more dignity, a little bit more pride and a sense of self while they're in the hospital," Forbes said.

Though the price is slightly higher than traditional gowns, they still cost under $10 each and are justified by higher patient satisfaction ratings, Forbes said.

"With every patient that comes into the hospital, (a gown) is the one thing that you guarantee that they're going to experience," he said.

Since its inception, the Model G has had its share of national exposure – with appearances on "The Today Show," "Ellen," and "Live with Kelly and Michael." It also made a cameo appearance when Mark Harmon wore one on CBS-TV's "NCIS."

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