Hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare environments have very specific needs in regards to furniture. Every item needs to be durable and safe, as it would in any commercial or public environment, but healthcare facilities’ needs go well beyond these basics. Read on to find out what to look for when choosing furniture for medical environments.
Hygiene and Ease of Cleaning
The furniture found in hospitals, clinics, and other medical environments almost always comes from a healthcare furniture dealer because it must be specially designed with hygiene in mind. The surfaces of ordinary chairs, beds, tables, desks, and other furniture can easily become breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria even with regular cleaning. Healthcare furniture should be made from nonporous upholstery and other nonporous materials that are easy to sanitize and less likely to harbor infectious organisms.
Comfort for Everyone
Patients visiting hospitals and other healthcare facilities come in all shapes and sizes, and the furniture in waiting rooms, public areas, and patient rooms must safely and comfortably accommodate all of them. Furniture with soft corners and edges can help to reduce the chances of injury if anyone falls, wider chairs accommodate larger patients more comfortably, and beds always need to be adjustable.
Welcoming Colors and Patterns
People generally visit healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics when they are already in physical or mental distress. Providing them with a warm and welcoming environment can help to keep patients and their family members calm and reduce everyone’s stress. Choosing soothing colors and simple patterns can help to create a more pleasant atmosphere for everyone.
Accommodations for Family Members
It’s common for family members to accompany loved ones to the hospital or visit them frequently, sometimes even staying overnight in their rooms. Accommodating these family members doesn’t just require comfortable chairs but also furnishings that are easy to reconfigure into groups. Family members often like to move chairs and tables around to create more intimate settings and maximize privacy both in waiting areas and in patient rooms.
Practicality for Staff Members
It’s not just patients that use furniture in healthcare settings. Staff members from doctors and nurses to aides and administrative assistants also have unique needs. Medical staff may need comfortably furnished spaces to collaborate on difficult cases and determine the best way to provide exceptional patient care. Nurses will need ergonomic furniture at their stations to prevent fatigue and back pain. All movable furnishings should be light enough that staff members can lift or otherwise reposition them.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Vendor
Not all furniture suppliers know what it takes to accommodate patients and healthcare providers. It’s always wise to ask vendors about their products and previous experience with assisting healthcare facilities’ purchasing managers with furniture design and selection. There are plenty of excellent options available that will meet not just practical needs like sterility and the ability to accommodate patients of all sizes but also aesthetic preferences.