We chose our topic because of a personal interview. We are addressing the issue of patient privacy concerning the use of the “hat” specimen collector and how it affects trust between patients and nurses. Our personal interest in this is that it has affected our family members, and also because we want our future patients to feel as safe and respected as possible.

Currently, there are not many solutions to allowing privacy to patients having to use the specimen collector.

We created an easy solution to a complex issue that is sometimes not even thought about and often overlooked.


What is our solution?

Lids that cover the specimen collector that patients can slide easily on top so that at least there is some feeling of privacy for the patient.

This lid will be available with easy access for the patients. The main concern we found was the fact that the patient's waste would be sitting in the open for extensive periods of time. Now, the patients would have some feeling of comfort knowing that there is something covering the waste from the sight of other people.

Points of View:

Emma's father actually experienced using the specimen collector. He expressed his concern about not having some type of cover over the “hat.” For example, he was afraid for family members to go into his restroom for the fear that his specimen collector was full and had not been disposed of.

There are probably many patients that feel this way. With this lid, comfort and trust between the patient and nurse is built. Trust is vital to the relationship between nurse and patient. It has been proven to promote healing, boost morale among both patients and professional, and help patients include their families in the healing process.

From the perspective of the nurse, a lid for the specimen collector reduces the chance of infection and cross-contamination. This helps to keep the nurse safe from illness, and also helps preserve patient samples for lab testing due to the lower risk of cross contamination.

Other Solutions:

Currently, few solutions to this issue exist. Nurses occasionally use other supplies to cover the top of specimen collectors; however, this is wasteful and potentially unsanitary. Our simple lid mechanism is more cost effective than the use of other supplies.

Patients will sometimes use toilet paper to cover their waste inside the container. However, this contaminates the sample, which is problematic if it is being used for lab testing. This also does not solve the issue of odor or prevent spillage.


Increase patient privacy and comfort

Allows for more adequate transportation

Decrease in specimen contamination

Increase in nurse safety

Decrease in odors


Potential of lid not sealing correctly

Contamination when patient puts lid on the hat

Increase in wait time of disposal due to nurses not noticing it is filled

Increase in lids being contaminated between patients

Increase in costs

This is an actual specimen collector that we cut out a piece of paper to lay on top to demonstrate how the lid would fit on the specimen collector.

3D Final Print

Target Design

Prototype made out of cardboard


Incorporating a lid on the specimen collector will drastically increase morale among patients. Privacy and comfortability is essential to boosting morale further leading to better health outcomes. The addition of an enclosed specimen collector is a simple and fundamental step to trust between nurses and patients. Our creation, is a step in the right direction towards creating a comfortable and trusting environment for both patients and nurses.



Created with images by DarkoStojanovic - "medical appointment doctor" • Shutterbug75 - "agree agreement asian" • Sammy-Williams - "doctor surgeon hospital" • Yeskay1211 - "guardian angel doctor health" • geralt - "nurse heart pulse"