New style of hospital gown offers more dignity, comfort

Woman debuts new 'Jane' style hospital gown to replace open back 'Johnny'

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Hospital gowns are known for being uncomfortable, ill-fitting and... well... ugly.

But one hospital is trading the old "Johnny" for the new "Jane".

The "Jane" is a stylish and comfortable cover-up that looks more like a spa robe than a traditional gown.

"The original Johnny was never meant to be closed in the back because, it was to make it more convenient for you to go to the John," said Sharon Linder, gown developer.

"These really don't look very nice and they can just increase exposure when one is sitting, waiting," said Dr. Robert Legare, director of the Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital.

Linder says the new gowns make it more convenient for women having a mammogram.

Linder is a frequent visitor to the center.

"I have a history of breast cancer in my family, both my sisters and my mother had breast cancer and I find myself in places like this all the time, being tested or in studies or just for routine physicals," said Linder. "I'm either freezing or, just you know just clutching it to make sure that it's closed."

Linder came up with something she called the "Jane."

"Treatment is difficult enough, uncomfortable enough. So, why do you have to be even more uncomfortable?"

The gown was developed by Linder with the help of focus groups at the hospital.

"First of all you can see it opens in the front. They come in two sizes up to XXL so they offer coverage to a wide range of body types. The fabric is a little warmer than you'd normally get, has a little give, it's a knit," said Linder.

"We've been looking to change our gowns for a while, patients through the years have suggested we could do better," said Legare.

The center now offers something better, more snuggly and stylish. The new gown even has pockets for keys, tissues or other personal items.

"Everyone said pocket," Linder said.

"It is simple but as we all know some of the simple things often get overlooked, " said Legare.

The new gown will be online and available to the public later in October and a portion of the sales will be donated to help pay for mammograms for women in need.

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