The above images are the results of a UK hospital furniture design competition that started in August of 2008 and have recently been analyzed and finalized. The goal was to challenge the historic features of hospital furniture and show how its design can enhance effective cleaning and help to tackle Healthcare Associated Infections. The Design Bugs Out website introduces the project:
The Department of Health, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and the Design Council challenged the UK’s design and manufacturing community to design and prototype new hospital furniture and equipment that will help to reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs). If hospital equipment and furniture is designed to be easy to clean and easy to use, it will stay cleaner — and therefore help reduce the risk of infection.
Out of an initial 51 design possibilities, 11 products were developed and considered, and only 4 were tested for mass production. After extensive user testing in 8 hospitals throughout the UK, each of the above designs are will soon be available for purchase by hospitals in the NHS Supply Chain catalogue online. Patient approval rates were impressive, as per the Daily Echo, and the following percents of caretakers, patients, and visitors gave the thumbs up to the new designs:
Bedside cabinet by Kinneir Dufort: 68% patients, 75% visitors, 70% staff
Patient chair by Pearson Lloyd: 91% patients, 88% visitors, 68% staff
Commode by Pearson Lloyd: 90% patients, 84% visitors, 78% staff
Overbed table by Hollington: 91% patients, 87% visitors, 72% staff
The entire report by the Department of Health can be downloaded in a PDF here. It’s an extremely well thought out study and well worth reading if you have the time.