In the Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, patients used to be asked to change out of their clothing and into a hospital gown in preparation for their mammogram. While they waited in an interior waiting room, many women felt uncomfortable and exposed. But new gowns, designed specifically for mammography exams, are making the experience better.
“We were using standard hospital gowns for our mammography patients,” says Radiology Program Manager for Breast Imaging and Support Services Doug Maybury, RT(R), CNMT. “Our patients expressed that they found it embarrassing to sit in the waiting room in a gown that oftentimes didn’t fit properly so we researched alternative options based on the feedback we were receiving.”
What Maybury and his team found were two options designed specifically for mammography exams. The first is a mammography jacket. The unique waist-length garment is much more stylish than a standard hospital gown. “The jackets are great because they tie on the inside and on the outside, which means you can open up just one half of the gown,” says Maybury. “This way women feel less exposed during their exam. And they only have to change out of their top. It provides a little bit more modesty, it’s fashionable and it’s just easier to put on and take off.”
The second option is designed for women who come to their appointment wearing a dress. “Obviously, the jacket option won’t work if a patient is wearing a dress,” explains Maybury. “We now have a knee-length robe made of a very, very soft cotton with a nice print design. The thing patients like most about the robe is the snap at the top. Women no longer have to worry about their gown falling open.”
Maybury says color, material and size are all important factors when it comes to finding a garment for women to wear during their mammogram. “It’s important for our patients to be comfortable,” he says.
Already the new gowns have proven to be a hit with patients. In their Press Ganey surveys, women have raved about them:
“Fluffy new gowns were fantastic. Wouldn’t let me buy one!”
“PS - I really like your new ‘mini johnnies’ - so much more comfortable!!!”
“I love the new robes!!!”
“The new johnnies were awesome and I highly recommend them for all departments. Most women like to be fully covered. Best addition of all!!!!!!!”
“New gowns are a major improvement over last year’s thread bare gowns”
“I love that BWFH has different size gowns - not one size fits all, like some other places”
“I liked the shorter gowns that were provided”
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