Steelcase Health Turns Four

Steelcase Health Turns Four – Impact on Market Segment Continues to Grow

Chicago – June 14, 2010 – It’s been just 48 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 early run for the upstart healthcare division of furniture-industry giant Steelcase.

“We feel great about the progress we’ve made over the past four years and the wonderful response we’ve received from the marketplace,” said Kyle Williams, Steelcase Health’s Vice President and General Manager. “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 goes well beyond furniture.

“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 Williams.

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.

Some highlights from four very eventful years for Steelcase Health:

Steelcase Health Strikes Gold – Three Times – 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.

At the 2007 show, Steelcase Health struck gold again with its Opus Overbed Table, an extension of the Opus line, as it won the top prize in the Healthcare Furniture category.

In 2008, Steelcase Health’s modular workspace solution, SYNC, won the Gold Award in Healthcare Furniture. The accomplishment – three straight Gold Awards – marked an impressive entrance into the healthcare furniture marketplace.

“We’re particularly proud that SYNC was singled out for recognition. We feel it brings significant design innovation and functionality to the healthcare environment,” said Alan Rheault, Director of Design for Steelcase Health.

Steelcase Health’s SYNC furniture system, developed in partnership with HDR Architecture, 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.

Steelcase Health has entered two exciting new products into the 2010 Best of NeoCon competition: Tava, a full family of healthcare seating, and Pocket an amazing new line of mobile work stations.

Steelcase Health will be launching a record number of products at this year’s NeoCon, including an innovative line of mobile workstations, a beautiful family of healthcare seating and a comprehensive casegoods line. The company will also introduce enhancements to a number of existing Steelcase Health products.

Steelcase Health Showroom Nabs NeoCon ‘09 Best of Show

At NeoCon 2009, Steelcase Health’s showroom was awarded Best Large Showroom and Best of Show in the 14th Annual International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

Showroom and Booth Design Competition. Steve McCollom, IIDA, Vice President of Communications for IIDA described Steelcase Health’s winning showroom. “The approach by the Steelcase Health design team was authentic, evidence based design,” said McCollum. “The designers went to great degrees to create spaces that truly simulate what a user would experience — it feels like a healthcare environment, not a showroom. The Steelcase Health showroom, quite simply, celebrates the integrity of the product and what it does. It works.” Not content to rest on its laurels, Steelcase Health has completely remodeled its’ Chicago showroom for NeoCon 2010.

Research and Partnerships Continue

Over the past four 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.

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

“For Steelcase Health, EDAC helps create stronger, common bonds with the professionals in the fields that are charged with developing these spaces. It helps 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 Phyllis Goetz, Steelcase Health’s Global Director of Sales – A&D.

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.”

In 2009, Steelcase Health partnered with Mayo Clinic to field a research study into how the design of a consultation room can improve the quality of an outpatient visit. The collaborative study was conducted to understand the extent to which a consultation room designed to support present-day clinical encounters could affect the consultation between patients and clinicians. The results of this randomized trial, the first of its kind, were published in the Fall issue of Health Environments Research and Design Journal (HERD).

“Our team continues to dig deep, to evaluate what works and what could work better,” said Williams. “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.”

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-to-back Best of NeoCon Gold Awards for Opus, Opus Overbed Table and SYNC, Steelcase Health received back-to-back Nightingale Awards in 2007 and 2008 at the annual Healthcare Design Conference for Opus Overbed Table and SYNC. SYNC also earned Interior Design’s “Best of Year” award for the healthcare furniture category in 2008.

The Next 12 Months…

Looking ahead, Williams 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.”

Williams said that Steelcase Health has a significant amount of product development under way — on top of what the company has already brought to the healthcare space.

“We have a great deal of research and insight going into variety of new solutions. We believe they’re addressing significant problems — not only around new technologies, but new types of spaces and environments.

“We’re also making significant quality improvements in our lines as well. We’re improving comfort, we’re improving overall finish, we’re improving the overall durability and design language of our product,” said Williams.

“Healthcare outcomes can be improved for patients and families and those people that provide care in North America and worldwide. I think we really can make a difference. We have the scale. I think we have the methodology. And we have the commitment of the company to make the kinds of investments needed to really make a difference in healthcare — that really excites me.”


Aideen Doherty

Michael Pflughoeft