Testing is crucial to all aspects of healthcare. Only by measuring processes and evaluating results can we find the best outcomes. By the same token, all physical items in a healthcare facility must be tested as well. These include medical devices, procedural tools, and even the furniture used in clinical spaces.
To optimize patient outcomes, medical seating should achieve more than its basic function. It’s more than “furniture.” It’s a powerful tool for patient care, staff efficiency, and often, medical procedures as well. The right chairs and treatment beds aren’t mere surfaces but rather solutions. Ideally, they integrate fully into clinical flows, logistical needs, and of course, the patients’ unique needs.
Here’s how to evaluate medical seating options for your healthcare facility.
Consider the Materials Used
The best medical seating begins with quality construction. Good materials are especially important in healthcare facilities, where frequent sanitation and heavy use could damage certain materials. Many medical furniture-makers choose thick vinyls and metals that can withstand harsh cleaners.
However, there’s no need to sacrifice patient comfort for hygiene needs. Today’s medical seating features high-quality vinyls that look and feel like premium fabric. Many of these synthetic fabric blends are treated with antimicrobial and antifungal agents to help reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections. They’re also easily cleaned without compromising their look and feel.
Compare the Design to Your Use Cases
Medical seating solutions range from supportive recliners, often found in recovery rooms, to treatment chairs that accommodate patients during their procedures, to functional seating that facilitates routine tasks such as blood draws. Some innovative patient-seating designs can accommodate multiple use cases.
When evaluating patient seating for your healthcare facility, check for these vital design characteristics:
Both patient rooms and long-term treatment areas (such as infusion clinics) benefit from recliners. However, not all recliners are made alike. When testing, consider:
- Backrest’s range of motion: How far can patients recline?
- Power-recliner capability: Can patients and staff easily adjust the recliner angle? This may not always be necessary, but it is certainly helpful in high-volume environments.
- Trendelenburg options: Will patients seated in the recliner ever need procedures that require partial inversion?
- Support for medical equipment: Can the chair accommodate IV poles, oxygen tanks, and other critical devices?
What if a patient could remain on one comfortable chair during their entire visit, from surgery to recovery? This “single-surface” approach is gaining popularity. It’s safer and more efficient for both patients and caregivers. “Stretcher-chairs” reduce the need to lift and transfer patients. Plus, they’re designed to accommodate a range of procedures and vitals checks.
When reviewing multi-purpose patient seating, consider:
- Seat rotation: Can patients be rotated sideways for lateral imaging?
- Radiolucent back: Can imaging devices scan through the chair?
- Head support: Can the chair accommodate neck-up surgical procedures? Can the headpiece be adjusted for taller or shorter patients?
- Guard rails: Are the side and tuck rails safe yet easily navigated or adjusted?
Tip: Check out Champion’s TMM Stretcher-Chairs, designed with a “One Patient, One Surface®” philosophy. Most models feature radiolucent backs, adjustable seats and footrests, and strong casters to ensure swift, safe patient transport.
Evaluate Patient Amenities
In the healthcare space, a chair is more than a chair. It can either be a soothing place to rest and recover or one of many unforgiving surfaces a patient will encounter.
Depending on your healthcare facility’s use cases, you may consider the following when evaluating potential upgrades to patient seating solutions.
Heat and massage
These are more than luxuries, especially for oncology or dialysis patients who may spend hours in their chairs. Some infusion treatments can cause patients to feel chilled, so a heating option is crucial to their comfort. Champion’s Alō treatment recliner offers built-in heat and massage, plus swing-away arms to facilitate caregiver access.
Overweight patients are often relegated to bariatric seating and transport devices that can be embarrassing and inefficient to use. Look for person-centric medical chairs that can accommodate higher patient weights. For example, Champion’s Inverness, a 24-hour treatment recliner, supports up to 500 pounds yet remains luxurious and streamlined.
Champion’s Medical Seating Solutions Support Your Healthcare Facility
At Champion, we take a person-centric, integrated approach to healthcare seating design. We believe that patient seating should be seamless, comfortable, and adaptable to multiple use cases. Plus, all of our products use premium materials and are constructed in the USA for optimal results.
Browse our collections and see all the features our seating solutions have to offer. Want to see Champion’s innovative products in action? Book a free demo today.