HAPPY 75th BIRTHDAY to The NHS!
It’s also why a much greater emphasis is now being placed on the quality of the patient’s journey as key decision makers are now recognising that every part of the patient’s experience matters, from the moment they enter the hospital to the moment they leave.
Creating a waiting zone that is both comfortable and inclusive is the first chance a hospital has to make patients feel at ease and cared for. It’s a design driver that Ocura takes very seriously. From family-friendly designs such as the Koko range with its elevated backrest and lumbar support to the Arvada range, with height adjustable legs and dropdown armrests, the core theme is one of flexibility and inclusivity, married with robust construction to give years of service in high-traffic areas.
To be truly inclusive however, hospital furniture needs to embrace the needs of everyone regardless of their health status, age, physical abilities, culture, ethnicity, or gender, and that means offering a wide range of both choice and flexibility in furnishings. For example, the ergonomically designed Tulsa range of soft seating, or the Baltimore range which along with a high level of comfort has the added advantage of being made from an antimicrobial vinyl which helps to protect against the transmission of infection, abrasion and staining. It’s a far cry from the inhospitable waiting rooms of the past, furnished only with a row of one-size-fits-all seating lined up against the wall.
Comfort and Equality
Making a positive first impression is central to setting the tone for a good patient experience and recent research suggests, not surprisingly, that comfort is a key factor in a patient’s seat selection. For many patients, the need for personal space is essential for their mental and emotional comfort, and providing seating that can help patients define their personal space is important. For example, chairs with wide armrests can help to establish spatial boundaries as well as help the patient get up from the chair. It’s a simple but significant design feature that can help a patient feel less anxious and more secure.
Family visits, on the other hand, call for different configurations of seating to create the sense of a safe and private space for the family unit as a whole. Specialist bariatric seating such as the Arvada is also proving increasingly popular for those patients who need a little extra space to feel comfortable. The Equala range in particular, has been designed with equality and inclusiveness in mind.
Based on Ocura’s six key principles, each piece of furniture is easy to use, ergonomically designed, economical when looking at life cycle value, and environmentally friendly in design. With optimal patient flow in mind, each item of furniture is also efficient in using floor space and is founded on the principles of equality for all.
King’s College Hospital
A good example of this can be seen in the refurbishment of the waiting zones at King’s College Hospital in London, where the Equala range was installed to create a stylish and uniform appearance of waiting room furniture. Space-efficient, ergonomic, and easy-to-clean seating that delivered equality for all. In short, a perfect solution for hospital waiting zones.
Patient Friendly Seating
As healthcare design continues its journey towards a value-based service, every element of the patient’s journey has come under scrutiny for opportunities to provide a better, more efficient, patient-friendly service, and that starts with comfort and safety as patients wait for their appointment.
Optimising patient satisfaction can be a challenging and multifaceted task, yet offering a diverse range of functional seating can go a long way to enhancing a positive patient experience. Additionally, researchers now recognise that instead of using waiting rooms to bombard patients with health promotion messages, it is far better to use the space to create an ambiance of comfort and peaceful relaxation.
Waiting room seating is amongst the most used furniture in the hospital and with the right choice of furnishings patients are more likely to feel relaxed and tolerate longer wait times without complaint. It’s a simple investment that can go a long way to improving the clinician-patient relationship.
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