Physiological Measurements distributes innovative EchoVests
A Shropshire company has launched an innovative new product to help protect the dignity of patients undergoing tests in hospital.
Physiological Measurements (PML), based in Willow Street, Oswestry, has distributed more than 20,000 EchoVest’s to hospitals, GP surgeries and medical providers across the UK and has received glowing feedback from health staff.
The specially-designed vests can be used by any patient whether it be for religious reasons or just to protect the modesty of women or the elderly.
PML is the only UK distributor of the privacy grown and during the first week of April the company provided 3,000 gowns to Birmingham City Hospital, about 10 times the size of a usual order.
Director, Jon Pither, said: “The EchoVest was launched in the USA in 2010 and it provides an innovative solution to preserve patient dignity when undergoing medical tests, particularly for women or for cultural and religious reasons.
“It maintains dignity for the patients, but also the staff conducting the tests. This leads to a better testing environment and a positive experience for the patient.
“It also contributes to fighting healthcare acquired infections by providing a barrier between the patient, couch and healthcare worker and is simply thrown in the bin at the end of the examination.
“It defeats embarrassing exposure for patients and healthcare providers and has proved to be a successful alternative to traditional gowns and towels.
The EchoVest is preferred by most patients and is definitely better for maintaining patient dignity than using old hospital gowns
“On top of that, since 2011 the British Society of Echocardiography guidelines state that all patients attending an appointment should be offered a gown.
“We are very proud to be able to offer this to hospitals across the UK and make such a difference to so many people in their experience of undergoing these tests.”
The vests can be used for an echocardiogram, stress test, nuclear exam, CT ,MRI and PET Scans, radiographic exams, mammograms, breast exams, breast ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound and physical exams.
They are currently used in hospitals in Bletchley, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Kent, Derby, Essex, Derry and Russells Hall Hospital, in the West Midlands.
As well as providing the vests to hospitals, PML also offers an echocardiogram and ultrasound services to patients referred by GPs in their clinic, at existing GP surgeries, health centres and community hospitals.
Martin Head, a cardiac physiologist for the Shropshire Echocardiogram Service, said: “The EchoVest is preferred by most patients and is definitely better for maintaining patient dignity than using old hospital gowns.
“The fact they are disposable also saves time, means there is less housekeeping and no laundry bags needed.”
It maintains dignity for the patients, but also the staff conducting the tests. This leads to a better testing environment and a positive experience for the patient
Anne Bebbington, advanced clinical physiologist at the Royal Derby Hospital, said: "The disposable EchoVests are a fantastic product. They are extremely useful and essential when scanning young adults.
“We find the product so helpful and we also use it in other areas such as 24-hour ECGs as these can be fitted while a vest is being worn, maintaining dignity at all times.”
PML won the EMEA contract for the EchoVest when a representative went to America and met designer, Patricia Lenzen.
In addition the company has also supplied the vest to hospitals in Czechoslovakia and hopes to increase distribution to centres in Canada and the Middle East later this year.