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Hospitals and Mobile Furniture: Top Flexibility
The spaces in a healthcare facility (hospital, retirement home, outpatient clinic, etc.) can undergo all sorts of displacements and readjustments: the recent pandemic has shown us that new facilities and services can spring up in a matter of days, or there are simply spaces that are increased at the expense of others that are reduced and reconfigured.
And it’s not just inpatient or outpatient spaces that can be downsized and moved: there are also technical environments that have to adapt to changes (new machinery, new procedures, increased or reduced workloads).
Without talking about technical rooms (laboratories, storerooms, staff kitchens), let us try to imagine a normal hospital room. As an example, for many reasons, this room can be reduced from 3 beds to 2.
Hospital beds are now 100% equipped with wheels. But what about bedside tables? How much more comfortable is it to move if that item has wheels? Here we start talking about mobile furniture.
The same logic applies to cabinets. Cabinets with wheels make life easier. And even hospital trolleys that are not just trolleys: start looking at them as pieces of mobile furniture and the whole game changes quite a bit!
Take the picture below as an example.
Two PRECISO TRS logistics columns serve as storage points. The table is fixed to the wall and has no legs. Under the table, a PRECISO DPT element serves as a drawer unit (for medication, forms or stationery), but can also become a trolley.
First of all, the 3 mobile elements can be restocked in two ways: they can be moved themselves, or the elements inside them can be used (ISO 600×400 baskets and drawers or the transportable FH-Drawers).
But what if the room has to be renovated? Or if it changes its use? Technicians will be left with a simple table and two wall units to dismantle – the rest goes “on its own wheels”!
What about the hygiene of this environment? Cleaning is certainly more thorough and frequent in healthcare facilities than in any other environment. Just release the wheel brakes with a simple movement of the foot: the two columns and the drawer unit clear the floor with a minimum of effort!
Another similar example in the photo below: this outpatient clinic in Savigliano, Cuneo, Italy, which has all the elements on the right on wheels, including the PRECISO TRS which serves as a cabinet and worktop. How much easier is it to clean floors?
Or this storage room in the cardiology department of Bolzano hospital, Italy: the traditional shelving is along the walls, while in the middle of the room there is a MOSYS shelving unit on wheels. Not only is the shelving a mobile piece of furniture, it can also be used as a means of transporting material if required.
Again at Bolzano hospital, the COVID-19 emergency forced the creation of a new intensive care unit. Each bed station was equipped with an ESSENTIAL trolley. This is used to store
- patient-specific materials and drugs
- protective equipment for patient and caregiver
- bed linen specific to that bed station
- even personal items of the patient. De facto, the trolley also becomes a bedside table.
Once the pandemic is over, the trolley could be allocated to other wards. With the same tasks, as bedside cabinet/bedside table, or as a ward trolley for bedside and patient hygiene. Pictured below: an ESSENTIAL trolley that has just been delivered to the hospital and has not yet been put into service.
A very similar choice to Bolzano: the new intensive care unit in Savona, Italy, has been equipped with a PRECISO trolley for each bed.
If and when the ward is reduced in size, the trolleys can be transferred with minimal effort and redeployed where necessary.
At a glance
Mobile furniture solutions are many and include components of all sizes that can be mixed and matched: from wheeled cabinets, shelves and worktops to trolleys that act as furniture. It is therefore important to take the mobility characteristics of certain elements into account when designing new rooms, or when planning the redesign of a room or service.
In addition to the basic function of the specific cabinet, shelving, trolley or bedside table there are additional benefits for any healthcare facility: there is more flexibility, moving the furniture item or reusing it elsewhere is easy and does not involve disassembly, cleaning is better and requires less effort.
Mobile furniture products by FH featured in this article:
- PRECISO TRS: logistic columns
- PRECISO DPT: under-table element / chest of drawers / trolley
- FH-Drawers: trasportable drawers, also transparent
- MOSYS: stainless steel shelving on wheels
- ESSENTIAL: linen and patient hygiene trolley / bedside table
- PRECISO: multifunction modular trolley
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For more information on the products we have mentioned, or to discuss the most useful configuration for your facility, please get in touch with us here:
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