Improving the dignity of patients undergoing imaging

Creation
Pending
More Info is needed
Approved
Case Study Summary
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Overview summary:
By negotiating a new business model with our laundry service provider, we were able to introduce a more dignified patient robe, as well as make a cost saving on laundry. This new arrangement could now be exploited by other organisations wishing to improve on patient dignity.
 
Challenge identified and actions taken :
Patients undergoing imaging are asked to undress and wear a traditional hospital robe. This ensures no metal is present in the MRI scanner, and that quality images can be achieved without any artefacts.
The robe ties around the patient, but does not completely cover the naked skin. Patients have complained about their loss of dignity. To address this, patients are offered two robes; one to tie around the front, the other round the back. However, this creates two new issues. Firstly, patients with restricted mobility find it difficult to tie fastenings around their back. Secondly, use of two robes per patient doubles our laundry costs.
As per our innovation development process, we searched the market to see what solutions may already exist. The 3-armed robe was identified as the best choice. This design ensures patients are completely covered. There are no fastenings; closure is provided by the garment having three arms (see attachements). Walsall Healthcare NHS trust had already introduced these robes and reported good patient feedback, so we decided to adopt the same. It was not viable for us to purchase the robes outright and then pay out again for the special return-to-sender laundry service.  Instead, we needed to negotiate a new business model with our laundry service provider. 
Impacts / outcomes:
Since HEFT is a large trust, the large volumes required for the imaging services meant that it made good business sense for the laundry service provider to have the robes manufactured, and then provide them to us on the usual rental basis. The improved design enables us to provide each patient with one robe rather than two, and so as well as improving the dignity of our patients, we have also achieved a cost saving on laundry. We are waiting for delivery of the new robes and anticipate the same positive feedback experienced by our neighbour.
Supporting quote for the innovation from key stakeholders:
Patients attending Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust have said they much prefer the three-armed gown because it allows their dignity to be preserved.
 
Which local or national clinical or policy priorities does this innovation address:
Adoption of innovation
Plans for the future:
Our large volume requirement (purchasing power) has enabled the laundry service provider to source a manufacturer and provide the robes to us on a rental basis. Other trusts wishing to improve patient dignity can now benefit from this arrangement.
Tips for adoption:
Whilst the majority of patients put the robes on correctly, it may be useful to provide patients with photographic instructions. 
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