Four New Products for the Healthcare Industry

Steelcase Health Prescribes Four New Products for the Healthcare Industry

Grand Rapids, Mich. – June 9, 2008 – Facing an aging population and increased demand for services, healthcare providers are always looking for new prescriptions for the healthcare environment. Steelcase Health focuses on healthcare environments and how products within these environments can help make them more comfortable, efficient and conducive to the healing process. At NeoCon 2008, Steelcase Health will debut four key new products from the Steelcase family of companies.

Over the past four years, members of the Steelcase Health team have conducted observational research at leading health facilities like Ascension Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mayo Clinic and other top Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and providers to evaluate a wide variety of interactions in numerous healthcare environments – especially how patients receive care and how caregivers perform their duties.

“People develop routines sub-consciously and if a piece of furniture or process is uncomfortable or doesn’t work just the right way, they adapt and create work arounds, ” said Alan Rheault, director of product development at Steelcase Health. “Observing people in clinics and hospitals gives us the opportunity to see these adaptations and how people actually work and interact with their surroundings.”

“That’s why something as simple as adding a foot ring to a table or making the same table with a softer, more inviting shape can make a difference in how people work.”

Steelcase Health products focus on three key groups: patients, caregivers and partners in care. Each group has distinct needs within the healthcare environment and Steelcase Health meets these needs with creative solutions inspired by the unique interactions between these different groups and their work environment.

Here’s an overview of the four new products being introduced by Steelcase Health and the Steelcase family of companies to support the healthcare industry.

1. SYNC (in collaboration with HDR Architecture)

Steelcase Health’s new SYNC furniture system addresses the emerging needs of caregivers by seamlessly supporting people to technology and people to people work processes. Whether in a centralized or decentralized, new construction or retro-fit environment, SYNC offers highly flexible and customizable ergonomic solutions that easily accommodate ever increasing technology demands. SYNC is a modular solution, it can be moved and re-used or reconfigured as needs change.

SYNC addresses the new needs of what used to be called centralized and decentralized nurses stations. These needs were identified via the combination of the extensive experience of HDR Architecture (the primary designers) and Steelcase Health’s thorough research.

The centralized solution addresses the needs of several caregivers all working together in the new technology-rich healthcare environment, through the use of uniquely designed multi-user work surfaces and the flexible accommodation of technology. The gentle curves of the work surfaces allow for a large number of caregivers to freely move and congregate around the centralized station in a single or double sided application. SYNC is offered in three fixed heights – 28 ½”, 36” and 42” – to provide seated, service counter and standing solutions. These heights are mixed to provide choices to meet the preferences of multiple users. Widths are available in one-foot increments from five feet to nine feet. Integrated monitor arms have 160-degree adjustability for sharing information between various caregivers.

SYNC reflects a fresh design approach to the past typical “built-in” nurses stations. With simple, clean line aesthetics combined with soft user interface worksurfaces, the design feels new and appropriately contemporary. The primary “tile” below the worksurface can be specified in a designer’s choice of color and materials, allowing the solution to lead or adapt to the desired aesthetic of the rest of the surrounding environment. The product sits elevated off the floor “lightening” the feel of what would typically be a heavier built-in solution. The overall design by the HDR and Steelcase Health teams combines form and function, never forgetting the important needs of caregivers who need to constantly move freely around each station.

SYNC’s de-centralized products provide uniquely shaped adjustable height work surfaces with a structure that is anchored to the floor. The unique shapes allow the user to work within the niche and out of the code-ridden hallway.

The structure accommodates computers and utilities in a way that hides them, creating a very clean solution with tool-less access.

Decentralized stations focus on the ergonomics for a wide range of users by featuring height adjustable, fixed, or combination surfaces in eight various shapes to support the users individual needs. The adjustment range of SYNC is from 23” to 48” high and in two-person configurations, each work surface can be adjusted indvidually from one structure. The beam structure easily adjusts +/- six inches to accommodate the actual dimensions of the space at the time of installation.

2. Sonata

Sonata casegoods enhance cancer infusion treatment by combining a personal environment with an integrated technology solution. Through defined personal space, easy access to belongings and proximity to family and care providers, Sonata supports patient and family needs while improving workflow and interactions.

Sonata applications provide privacy without isolation and personal comfort through the use of materials and thoughtful function. The application solutions address a vast mix of needs including: personal storage, entertainment, privacy, guest seating, basic waiting activities and care provider work support. Sonata is a modular solution that can be moved and re-used or reconfigured as needs change and it can be planned independent of walls so patient environments can be created in infinite range of sizes and configurations.

Sonata features a number of individual modules: 1) A nurse server has drawers for supply storage, pull out selves for work and med prep support, and a worksurface ready to accommodate technology; 2) An island that integrates electrical and data utilities, it also hides the chemo waste container (making a huge difference in enhancing the environment) and provides elegant open shelving for the patient; 3) A media unit can accommodate a TV monitor and DVD player, it also has a functional worksurface top and an open shelf below; 4) The bench provides integrated guest seating and storage underneath the cushion which easily lifts up with spring hinges; 5) A personal open wardrobe provides coat and sweater storage integrated into the patient’s personal environment; 6) The common base anchors the product to the floor so that in can be truly freestanding and flexible. The base is also designed to be wrapped with base molding so that it is sealed to the floor to allow for thorough
mopping and cleaning in the area (critical in treatment areas); 7) New special modules can easily be designed to fit on the common base system to accommodate the unique needs of individual treatment centers.

3. Garden Series Textiles

The Garden Series from Steelcase Health is comprised of five sustainable upholstery patterns and one cubicle pattern. Developed by Designtex, the patterns and colorations take cues from nature’s harmonies. Each of the nature-influenced designs is applicable across a wide variety of healthcare settings, including: patient rooms, waiting rooms, lounges, cafeterias and more. The Garden Series features high performance attributes, including excellent abrasion and the use of Crypton® Green or Solution Dyed Nylon with NANO-TEX™ Resists Spills.

Designtex is a product innovator, committed to understanding the needs of the healthcare marketplace. By combining the technology available through Designtex, such as NANO-TEX™ Resists Spills with Steelcase Health’s vision for nature-inspired environmental aesthetics, the companies have created a family of textiles that perform as beautifully as they look.

There are over 60 colors included in the collection to meet a broad range of preferences and applications. The designs can be placed in other rooms within the space to create a streamlined and cohesive environment. The cubicle curtain has a residential aesthetic, which adds greatly to the comfort level of the patients and their family members.

4. Mineral Recliner

The Mineral mobile patient recliner offers comfort, functionality and durability through its unique all-metal-tube inner frame structure. Mineral easily integrates into and supports healing, holistic healthcare environments and is well suited for diverse settings. Drop down arms, available on either side of the recliner, assist with patient transfer in and out of the chair. The footrest is scalloped to help prevent feet from slipping off the ends when in a reclined position and also assist exiting the chair when in a down position.

Current recliner mechanisms — especially mobile recliners — often fail in the field prematurely do to stress on the frame. Mineral’s robust tubular steel frame — able to support 500 lbs. — creates a stable foundation that will help prevent premature failure. Careful placement of upholstery seams and exchangeable arm caps will also add to the longevity of this recliner. Mineral is constructed of materials that will withstand the rigors of cleaning agents found in healthcare environments and designed with infection control in mind.


Aideen Doherty

Michael Pflughoeft