Hospital acquired infections such as MRSA are on the increase and account for a large proportion of premature death in patients staying in hospitals for other reasons. Cleanliness is the only guard we have against most of these infections to stop them spreading from person to person. Whilst hospital staff washing their hands is the most important factor in managing hospital acquired infections, there are other steps to take to keep hospitals clean.
Hospital furniture can be a sanctuary for some of the bacteria responsible for the worst infections, having places like seams and cracks that can easily go missed during cleaning. This environment is ideal for bacteria growth which can have only negative ramifications. Choosing the right chairs, tables and reception room materials can reduce the spread of infections sharply and can be utilised by hospital staff more effectively.
Chairs are the prominent piece of furniture in hospitals. Staff, patients and visitors use them so it is vital that they be comfortable, stylish and safe. Material such as vinyl and other wipe clean surfaces are great as they can be used as covers for more open celled softer materials that will make the chair more pleasant to sit on. It is important that comfort is not forgotten for the sake of easier to clean furniture. In the emergency department, patients can be seated for up to four hours before being seen under hospital protocol, so it is essential for patient satisfaction that these seats are comfortable whilst cleanable.
Sweeping and curvy designs are ideal for hospital furniture as they reduce the amount of seams that come in to contact with the atmosphere. For chair legs and backs, using lacquered wood makes cleaning more effective as there are less areas for bacteria to hide, and there are wood lacquers that can withstand anti-bacterial chemicals which makes the chairs long lasting. Durability is another important factor to look for when choosing hospital furniture as hospital maintenance is given a tight budget and replacing an entire set of furniture can be costly.
This applies to the whole range of hospital furniture. Tables are heavily used in health care practise and there are benefits to choosing a suitable style. Four legs and a top is not always the best specification for a hospital table. They need to be easily movable, height adjustable and compatible with the rest of the hospital’s furniture. Transporting medicines, holding cups of water and allowing bed ridden patients easy access to their food are just three of the duties most hospital tables are required for. So wheels, swivel tops and height adjustable legs are essential.
When you choose your hospital furniture supplier, look for verification of their suitability as hospital furniture manufacturers. Having NHS Supplier Status indicates that they have produced furniture for hospitals before and that their designs meet all the regulations and requirements necessary. These tips should help you in choosing the right furniture for your hospital.