Steelcase Health by Steelcase Turns Two

Steelcase Health Turns Two – Impact On Market Segment Continues To Grow

Grand Rapids, Mich. – June 9, 2008 – It’s been just 24 months since Steelcase Health burst onto the healthcare scene with a plan to change the way people envision healthcare environments. And judging by the impact the company has had on the market segment, it’s been a tremendous two years for the upstart healthcare division of furniture-industry giant Steelcase.

“We feel great about the progress we’ve made over the past two years and the wonderful response we’ve received from the marketplace,” said Michael Love, Steelcase Health President. “Clients, architects and designers – across the board — have been very positive about Steelcase Health’s fresh, new approach toward the total healthcare environment – an approach that’s well beyond a furniture mentality.

“Steelcase Health has a bold vision to shape and improve the future of healthcare delivery. We concentrate on space and environments and how products within those environments can help make them more comfortable, more efficient and more conducive to the healing process,” said Love.

Steelcase Health brings a holistic viewpoint to healthcare environments and works with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to gain valuable insight into environments that promote healing.

Here’s are some highlights from two very eventful years for Steelcase Health by Steelcase.

Steelcase Health Strikes Gold — Twice — at NeoCon

In June 2006, at its formal industry debut at the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, Steelcase Health’s Opus casegoods won the Gold Award in the Healthcare: Furniture Category in the Best of NeoCon competition, which recognizes state-of-the-art product design, technological innovation and environmental sustainability.

Last year, Steelcase Health’s Opus Overbed Table, an extension of the Opus line, took home the Gold Award in Healthcare: Furniture.

“Our Opus line is a testament to the philosophy Steelcase Health is built upon,” said Love. “We develop research-driven, evidence-based solutions that become integral parts of the healing process.”

Steelcase Health has four products entered into the 2008 Best of NeoCon competition, including: SYNC, centralized and decentralized caregiver stations; Sonata – Steelcase Health’s oncology solution; the Mineral recliner; and Steelcase Health’s Garden Series textile collection.

Research and Partnerships Continue

Over the past two years, Steelcase Health has continued to build upon its numerous relationships with architects, designers and organizations such as Planetree and The Center for Health Care Design’s Pebble Project, to research and develop the best possible healthcare environment solutions.

The company’s strong belief in evidence-based design is why Steelcase Health has partnered with The Center for Health Design (CHD) to underwrite the next two phases of the Center’s Evidence-Based Design Assessment and Certification Program (EDAC).

“For Steelcase Health, EDAC will help create stronger, common bonds with the professionals in the fields that are charged with developing these spaces. It will help connect key players across the healthcare design and construction fields very well. It helps create a common platform and a common language that will help improve the working relationship for all of us,” said Love.

Steelcase Health partnerships include working with healthcare providers like Advance Radiology Services on ergonomic issues facing radiologists and Kaiser-Permanente on nursing station placement as well organizations like the technology company Cerner, on the development of a prototype of a high-tech patient “Smart Room” — which will be touring the country in the Steelcase Health/Cerner “Smart Semi” in 2008.

In 2007, Steelcase Health and leading healthcare architecture organization HDR Architecture teamed up to collaborate on the development of the new SYNC line of centralized and de-centralized caregiver stations.

Steelcase Health’s SYNC furniture system addresses the emerging needs of caregivers by seamlessly supporting people to technology and people to people work processes. In centralized or decentralized applications, SYNC provides ergonomic choices for a variety of users and work environments.

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

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. 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.

“Our team digs deep to evaluate what works, and what could work better,” said Love. “We ask why — and why not? And we continually come away convinced that with all of us working together, we can make healthcare better — without question.”

Love is excited about the fact that Steelcase Health has been able to engage with a number of new clients by bringing expertise and perspectives for both office spaces as well as clinical environments. “Our clients value and appreciate the evidence-based approach to products and solutions that Steelcase Health brings to the table,” said Love. “Our partners in the architecture and design community have requested that we continue to bring them results and insights from ongoing research.”

To that end, Steelcase Health will offer a CEU and LU credentialed seminar at NeoCon ’08 (June 9-10 in Chicago) that will discuss the insights the healthcare research team developed during their recent Cancer Environments project.

Experience and Expertise

Steelcase Health may be a relatively new company, but is by no means starting from scratch. The products and expertise from other Steelcase companies, with significant experience in healthcare, integrate under the Steelcase Health umbrella to give it one of the deepest product portfolios in the business. Steelcase Health offerings include products from the entire Steelcase family of companies — Brayton, Designtex, Details!, Metro, Polyvision, Softcare, Turnstone, and Vecta.

Industry Takes Note

All of the planning and hard work that went into the development and launch of Steelcase Health seems to be paying off. For a relatively new entity, Steelcase Health has received quite a bit of attention across the industry.

On top of the back-to-back Best of NeoCon Gold Awards for Opus and the Opus Overbed Table, Steelcase Health received the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Pinnacle Award for supplier performance from Premier Inc., a group of more than 200 hospitals and healthcare systems. The Pinnacle Award is given to and elite group of 15 of 614 eligible contracted suppliers who have consistently achieved scorecard ratings of 95 percent or higher over four consecutive quarters and have passed an on-site evaluation by Premier.

Steelcase Health’s “Environments for Cancer Care” research is featured in a six-page spread in the May 2008 issue of Health Care Design.

The Next 12 Months…

Looking ahead, Love sees Steelcase Health continuing to build upon the company’s value proposition with additional in-depth research and partnerships helping inform innovative healthcare solutions domestically and beyond. “We continue to be excited about exploring the potential for global opportunities for the organization.” Steelcase Health by Steelcase will unveil a number of new product designs and environmental solutions June 9-11 at the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago. Visit the Steelcase Health Showcase (Suite 3-101 in the Merchandise Mart) for a glimpse into a healthier future or learn more at Health.


Aideen Doherty

Michael Pflughoeft