Better Hospital Gowns? All Ages Will Be Thrilled!

Click on this image to check out images of the well-designed new gowns with thanks to the Henry Ford Health System.

Click on this image to check out images of the well-designed new gowns. With thanks to the Henry Ford Health System.

If you are like my parents, me, or people of almost any age, you HATE hospital gowns.

Sometimes putting on or wearing the gowns is worse than the test or the hospital visit. If you have ever helped an aging parent or other elder get in and out of bed with one of those gowns — or take a walk in a hospital corridor —  you know how they keep opening up so a patient feels exposed. Currently these gowns are designed to make it easy and simple to examine a person, but not to make a person feel comfortable.

Well now there’s reason to hope that this situation may be improved.

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Aging Parents: Emergency Department Texting

According to the May 11, 2010 Washington Post, the Reston Hospital Center emergency department in Northern Virginia has added a texting service. The article, Reston Hospital Uses Cellphone Texting to Announce Emergency Room Waiting Time, explains how the hospital has enabled cell phone texting so that patients and their families can learn how long the wait will be. At Reston Hospital’s Emergency Department visitors  “…can text “ER” to the number 23000 and receive a reply with the most up-to-date wait time.” Visitors can also check out the wait time on the hospital’s web site.

This new hospital service is not just for aging parents, but for each of us who has sat for hours in a hospital emergency department at one time or another. The bonus for aging parents (and their adult children) is how texting is a patient-friendly diversion that may help to decrease the disorientation elderly patients experience when they visit an emergency room.

Another patient-friendly technology initiative that hospitals should pick up is at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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