Drafty patient gowns with open backsides are a thing of the past at two of our HealthPartners hospitals. Patients at Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park now get a new type of gown instead. And they’re much more comfortable and modest with a side tie that makes for added coverage.

The quest to find a better hospital gown started as a project sponsored by the Park Nicollet Foundation. There was a competition among students in the University of Minnesota’s College of Design to come up with an improved gown design. And then the Foundation worked closely with the winners to bring it to life in a pilot. HealthPartners Institute got involved to collect and analyze patient feedback about the gowns. And researchers found that they indeed did make a positive impact on experience.

In early 2017, Methodist became the first spot in our organization to officially change to the new style. And when it rolled out the gowns to patients, it was one of the first hospitals in the nation to use them. Regions made the switch in April 2018. And all of our Park Nicollet and HealthPartners care sites will get them soon.

“Our patients shouldn’t have to worry about their privacy when being transported or walking through the halls,” said Bob Serreyn, HealthPartners Director of Supply Chain Services.

The improved gowns are made from a light-weight (but not see-through) material. They come in a range of calming colors. And care teams still are able to get the access they need thanks to snaps on the gowns’ sleeves.

“The new style of gown is made of a softer, less industrial fabric. Instead of focusing on how many washes a gown could handle, the attention is now on patient comfort,” Serreyn said.

Get a closer look at these innovative hospital gowns!

Morning Buzz 2-20 Hospital Gowns-1 from FOX9 KMSP on Vimeo.