SSM Health Care meets “Project Runway,”
We all know it, we all hate it, but it persists in near universality nonetheless: the “one-size-fits-none” hospital gown.
As if being fed on someone else’s schedule and having your vital signs displayed on a computer screen weren’t disempowering enough, patients can always count on a hospital gown to strip away any shred of lingering dignity. Usually faded from years of washing, the mandatory gowns feature no pockets and a propensity for even slight breezes to trigger moments of awkward peekaboos in front of mixed company.
Why doesn’t someone ask an expert to redesign the humble hospital gown? Say, Michael Drummond from season eight of “Project Runway”?
That’s exactly what SSM Health Care in St. Louis did. Drummond and six SSM executives designed couture hospital gowns, and models wore them on the runway during the system’s annual Showcase for Sharing conference, where employees gather to network, exchange ideas and laugh at their bosses’ expense.
Some of the designs were better than others, and a few seemed designed as much for humor as function. But Outliers was encouraged by several things.
First of all, several of the gowns featured pockets for iPods. Now that is executive innovation. Also interesting was a gown made from antimicrobial material and featuring a cloth that turns a different color in case of an accident. Scoring points for style were the animal-print and terry-cloth robes.
Drummond, a St. Louis resident, took liberties with the idea and came up with a hand-dyed kimono-style gown that, as the SSM website says, “offers both ease and wearability and reminds us that we can look fabulous no matter the circumstances.” Somehow, we don’t think the hand-dyed fabrics would stand up to the industrial washing machines hospital gowns have to go through.
If what you really want to do is direct …
Forget Cannes and Sundance. Aspiring filmmakers now have a new venue to showcase their work. But this festival isn’t for edge-of-your-seat political thrillers or artsy foreign flicks.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, a Washington-based group known as APIC with more than 13,000 members, recently announced it has begun accepting entries for an infection-prevention-and-control-themed film festival, which will take place at its next annual conference in Baltimore in June 2011.
Informational videos, animated films, short documentaries, and even humorous looks at infection prevention are all fair game, says APIC, as long as entries tell a compelling story and run no longer than 10 minutes. The winner will receive free registration to the conference, and the top film will be screened before a live audience. If you wanna get your Scorsese or Woody Allen on for healthcare, the details are available at bit.ly/cBB56d.
“We hope our members will be inspired to share best practices in infection prevention, stories of those personally affected by healthcare-associated infections, or personal reflections on these issues,” says Vickie Brown, APIC’s 2011 conference chair. It’s too early to make predictions on the number of entries, an APIC spokeswoman says, but the association is hoping for a big response: “We’re really open to any type of story and, although we’ve been telling our members about it, anyone is eligible to enter, including patients.”
Outliers is hoping for a good love story.
The cure for the common shopping binge?
If you start to doze off after gobbling down too much turkey this Thanksgiving, just think of the tryptophan in that bird as an inoculation against another kind of excess.
According to a study by University of Utah researchers, the high levels of tryptophan in turkey and other proteins can make consumers less liable to make impulse buys.
“We were very excited to study the influence of consuming a tryptophan-rich meal in a naturalistic way, rather than a lab setting,” says Arul Mishra, assistant professor at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. “We were able to demonstrate the effects tryptophan can have on consumer purchase decisions, particularly impulsive ones.”
Seems the study showed that eating foods rich in tryptophan affected levels of serotonin, which helps regulate emotions—including impulsivity.
So remember: If you’re thinking of buying that $15,000 edible gingerbread playhouse from Neiman Marcus for little Isabella or Jacob (and no, we’re not making that up: bit.ly/aXUoD7), just take a bite from a turkey sandwich, and step away from the cash register (or your computer).
Feeling impulsive? Maybe some turkey can help. Idaho could “see if there could be a resurgence of voluntary assistance specifically around keeping adults stable in the home environment.” —Idaho State Health and Welfare Director Dick Armstrong in
the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) to state legislators on the possibility of using volunteers to fill gaps in Medicaid services
because of budget problems.
Michael Drummond’s creation may not be utilitarian, but what would Heidi Klum say?