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010918-art_caplan.mp3

The Hospital Gown Gets An Update

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010918-art_caplan.mp3

While contemplating the world of fashion, one does not tend to think about hospital attire — the height of elegance for medical garments hasn't moved beyond loose, opened backed hospital gowns. But that is changing, thanks to students from the Parsons School of Design.

Parsons students, in conjunction with Care and Ware, a company specializing in medical clothes, have created a new medical gown that looks and acts more like a kimono than a shower curtain. The gown will soon be available on the Care and Ware website for $45 and is being tested at Montgomery Medical Center in Maryland, according to the New York Times.

Art Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, said he is happy to see a new alternative to the traditional hospital gown and believes that changes to hospital decor shouldn’t stop there.

“I don’t understand the gown. It doesn’t make sense to me. The whole thing is a great befuddlement,” Caplan said during an interview with Boston Public Radio. “There is nothing like having a serious informed consent discussion when the doctor can see you couldn’t tie the knot.”

Caplan praised the designers and the potential for the new garment to make patients feel more comfortable and at ease during stressful hospital visits. Caplan went on to say that other small changes, like updating the aesthetics of hospital waiting rooms and adding more comfortable chairs, could further increase patient comfort.

“Hospitals are not oriented toward patient comfort. They don’t organize that way,” he said.

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