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UC design innovation: New hope for the hated hospital gown
Date:5/14/2009

e into three teams in order to conduct both research and design, looking at the gowns from the point of view of not only patients but also care givers and business professionals.

CHALLENGES FOR THE STUDENT TEAMS

Elizabeth Kern, 23, a UC industrial design senior from Wyoming, Ohio, became a key leader of one of those teams, participating in the project because she wanted to make an impact "designing for people who are not always thought of."

For Emma Sartini, 23, an industrial design senior from West Chester, Ohio, the project represented valuable experience related to the medical field. She explained, "Thanks to UC's co-op program, I've gained working experience with Philips Respironics in Pittsburgh and with Ethicon Endo-Surgery here in Cincinnati. However, because of the confidentiality of the projects I worked on with those companies, I cannot put them on my resume. The hospital gown project for Hill-Rom is something I can put on my resume."

She added that the project was unique, challenging and fun, but the best part was the response from Hill-Rom executives. "We made our final presentation, and they loved it," said Sartini.

The final products were the result of in-depth research. For instance, the students met with a panel of nurses and with a designer who had recently been a hospital patient. These efforts resulted in valuable insights related to the life cycles of the gowns, needs of caregivers when working with gowns and patients' preferences.

For instance, Dale Murray, associate professor of industrial design, met with the students after a lengthy, three-month hospital stay. "The issues with hospital gowns are innumerable," he explained. "Fit is a big issue. They wrap uncomfortably around the bedridden patient, even wrapping around the neck. The ties become knotted or easily untied. A patient is alternately too hot or too cold. From the patient's point of view, the common hospital gown today does n
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
mary-bridget.reilly@uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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