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From the office and desk of the “Chair-Man” – Perry Arenson.

Healthcare Facility Furniture: What Needs to be Considered?

July 7th, 2022 | Best Office Furniture

When outfitting a healthcare facility, many factors need to be considered to create a comfortable, functional, and safe environment for patients and staff. One of the key elements in any healthcare setting is the furniture – everything from the waiting room chairs to filing cabinets needs to be carefully chosen to meet the specific needs of the facility.

At Arenson Office Furniture, we have been helping businesses in the healthcare industry find the perfect furniture for their needs since 1975. There are numerous factors to take into consideration when choosing furniture for a healthcare facility, and we’re here to help you navigate through the process.

In this guide, we will explore some of the key considerations that need to be made when selecting furniture for healthcare facilities. We will also discuss specific pieces of furniture that are commonly used in these types of settings.

 

Furniture for Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities are usually composed of different departments, including, but not limited to, emergency care, inpatient care, out-patient care, and long-term care. Each of these departments has specific needs when it comes to the type of furniture that is used.

For example, emergency care usually requires lightweight and easily movable furniture so patients can be quickly transported from one area to another. Outpatient care, on the other hand, requires durable and easy-to-clean furniture so that it can be used frequently by many people.

When choosing furniture for a healthcare facility, it is essential to keep the specific needs of each department in mind. By working with a knowledgeable team like ours at Arenson Office Furniture, you can be sure that you are choosing the right furniture for each area of your facility.

 

Nurses Stations

One of the most important pieces of furniture in any healthcare facility is the nurses’ station. This is where the nurses will spend most of their time, and it needs to be outfitted with the right furniture to meet their specific needs.

Some of the key considerations for choosing furniture for a nurses’ station include:

  • Ergonomics: The furniture at the nurses’ station needs to be ergonomic so that the nurses can work comfortably for long hours.
  • Storage: The furniture should have ample storage so that the nurses can keep their supplies and files organized and within easy reach.

 

Waiting Rooms and Reception Areas

The waiting room is usually the first area patients will see when entering a healthcare facility. This area should be comfortable and inviting so that patients feel at ease.

Some of the key considerations for choosing furniture for a waiting room or reception area include:

  • Comfort: The furniture should be comfortable so that patients can wait comfortably for long periods of time.
  • Style: The furniture should be stylish so that the reception area looks professional and welcoming.
  • Durability: The furniture should be durable so that it can withstand heavy use.
  • Size: The furniture should be sized appropriately for the space so that the room doesn’t feel cramped.

Furniture Standards for Healthcare Facilities

There are a few furniture standards that all healthcare facilities should meet to provide the best possible care for their patients. All furniture in a healthcare facility should meet the safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

 

Safety

How safe the product is to use is the first and most crucial factor you must consider when shopping for healthcare furniture.

Consider the types of patients your medical institution sees daily. To make all visitors feel welcome and at ease during their stay with you, at least 15% of the seats in your waiting room should be bariatric. Depending on the patients you see regularly, you may need more. 

For example, if you’re establishing an orthopedic or elderly care facility, consider including hip chairs for guests who have difficulty getting out of standard visitor seats.

Chairs with a safe weight capacity should also have safe egress, which means they should be able to support the weight and movement it takes for someone to get out of them. For example, a chair with arms should have padded armrests that are pleasant and simple to grip. It should also be able to support an adult’s weight, especially when they need to stand up and get out of the chair.

Armless chairs are also helpful in preventing larger patients from falling out of their chairs while resting or when they’re reading. Remember, offering your individuals the freedom to choose where and how to sit is essential to fostering a comfortable environment.

Pinch points should be avoided. Although it might take some time and comparing various pieces of furniture, try to minimize pinch points in your healthcare furniture. Moving parts in any furniture, from fold-down trays and overbed tables to adjustable chairs and cabinets, can expose your patients to these potential hazards. 

Although removing all pinch points will be impossible, you can significantly reduce them. Furniture using piano hinges rather than cabinet hinges for extra safety is highly recommended, especially furniture used around children.

Furniture with welting should also be avoided. Seating that has welting features is an excellent place for germs to grow. Bacteria can be passed along via contrast stitching and piping, as well as being irritated by these upholstery components. 

Instead, seek for waterfall-edged furniture to minimize bacterial catch points and provide a greater degree of comfort for your visitors. If your seating has seams, these should be visible (facing away from the person sitting in the chair) to reduce the risk of infection.

 

Cleanability

Due to the nature of healthcare institutions, the cleanability of your furnishings is bundled into its safety. The only safe furniture in any healthcare facility is that which is kept meticulously clean and disinfected. Make sure you invest in furniture that’s simple to maintain. 

Healthcare seats should always include a clean-out area between the seat and back of the chair—the larger the better. Not only does this reduce catch points for bedbug breeding, but it also makes cleaning much easier for employees. This ensures that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, leaving no room for missed spots.

A large clean-out area between the seat and back of the chair will prevent potentially hazardous materials from being put into the gap. Remember that your cleaning staff should never have to stick their hands in an area where they can’t see what they’re touching. It’s a health and safety hazard for patients and employees.

Aside from seats, ensure that all of the case goods in your medical center are made of non-porous, easy-to-clean materials. Wood and veneer furnishings are permeable and cannot be used in a healthcare facility.

Instead, choose laminate for your reception desks, tables, and cabinets to look like wood but is far more sanitary. Remember that everything in your healthcare center must be cleanable—this should go beyond the surface. The insides of your cabinets and drawers must be completely cleaned to limit bacterial infection as well. Consider utilizing drawer liners that may be removed easily if an unexpected spill occurs.

 

Aesthetics

Although the aesthetics of a medical facility may not appear to be important, we assure you that they are. It does not have to look chilly and uninviting just because it is a healthcare facility. Instead of using white-on-white walls and furnishings in a hospital or private practice, add warm, inviting tones to your wall paint, furniture, and decorations.

A beautiful appearance will boost the spirits of your visitors, helping to soothe nervousness and make visits more pleasant for everyone involved. Nature visuals on your walls, laminate furnishings in warm wood tones, and seating in earthy hues or interesting patterns may all help you achieve this.

 

Shop for Healthcare Facility Furniture at Arenson

At Arenson Office Furniture San Diego, we understand how important it is to choose the right furniture for your healthcare facility. 

Our team can help you select both aesthetically pleasing and functional pieces, keeping your patients safe while maintaining a clean and inviting appearance. Browse our website or contact us today to learn more about our products and services!

 

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