Patient room furniture has a reputation of being comfortable by day, turning to a sleeping nightmare by night. From the NeoCon 2019 show floor, I chat with Kim Sank from Wieland Healthcare about their new featured products that combine both function and comfort.
Listen to our conversation here:
Don't miss a moment of NeoCon coverage when you subscribe:
Anchor | Apple Podcasts | Breaker | Castbox | Google | Overcast | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | TuneIn
Rather read the transcript?
Christoph Trappe: Hello everyone. It’s Christoph Trappe, chief content officer at interiors+sources. Still reporting here from NeoCon. And now we’re stopped by the suite of Weiland Healthcare.
So, here they showed us some chairs and other furniture for patient rooms. And I’m joined by Kim Sank, she’s the market manager at Weiland.
Kim, thanks for joining us.
Kim Sank: Thank you for stopping by.
Christoph: So, let’s talk about the importance of actually having functional furniture and furniture that also is comfortable.
Kim: Right. Well, in the patient room, families are being encouraged to stay over. So, it’s gone from accommodating them to truly engaging them. And so, what we try to do with our furniture is give them daytime comfort and give them a place to sleep at night.
But then also give them a place to do their work or charge their phone or laptop, eat a meal in case the doctor comes by and they don’t want to miss rounds. That’s really important.
[More from NeoCon 2019: What’s Lost is Found in HBF Textiles Fabric Collection]
And just to make them feel as much at home as possible. But then again, we also have to think about the staff, and we have to think about housekeeping and maintenance. So, infection prevention is a huge part of our design.
We definitely make furniture that will be easy to clean underneath. All of the covers are—most of the covers are renewable in the field, where they can be removed and replaced without taking the piece out of service.
Christoph: So, the product we’re currently sitting on, what’s the name of it?
Kim: This is the sleepToo™.
(Photo: Wieland's sleepToo sofa. Credit: Christoph Trappe)
Christoph: So, what’s interesting about this product—so we’re sitting on it, you can sit on it. You can have up to, like, 300 lbs. on the table in the middle when it’s in the up position. So, even a guy like me can jump on it, I guess.
Kim: You’re half sitting on it now.
Christoph: I’m sitting on it now to move a little closer to Kim to not have to hold the microphone so far. But it’s very comfortable. You can swing around, work on it on your laptop. And then you can also make it a bed at night for people staying over.
Kim: Yes. That was the goal—a virtual family room in the 20-square-feet the architect gives the family zone. So, really you always just have that alcove in front of the window, and that’s all you have to work with.
So, as that architectural design has become common, we’ve tried to make the most out of that space. That square footage is really valuable.
Christoph: And not picking on my own hospital, but when our daughter was born, I was sleeping in the window.
Kim: Yes. I remember my son was also in a hospital, a children’s hospital, and I slept on a two-seat tandem and had to fit my legs underneath the arm hold of the center arm.
You do what you have to do, but it’s nice when the hospital really takes the patient’s families into account also.
Christoph: Yes. This is definitely a long way from that experience.
So, another product you released is actually a chair. What’s the name of that chair?
Kim: The Accord recliner (pictured). We were just looking at a little bit ago. There are some innovations with that chair that most chairs don’t offer.
The safe brake system is actually two hockey puck-sized rubber pads that drop to the floor and take the weight off of the caster system. So, it divorces the casters from the brakes, which is the typical way of locking a caster.
So, it’s much safer and more secure. Just the surface area of contact with the floor is monumental compared to the one tangent point you get with a regular caster.
Christoph: Of course, I’m testing all the products so I can say it was very comfortable to sit in. You can put it back to sleep in it if you want to.
And of course, now you can also—this is a new feature, I think. You can take out the cushion for cleaning.
Kim: Right. There’s a removable seat option that we launched last year that, with no tools or special hardware, you can just pop the seat off and get whatever has fallen in between. And it’s safe for the staff to do that. It’s safer.
They’re not allowed to reach inside of a cushion if they can’t see between them. So, that’s a mandate with most housekeeping. So, if there’s something down there, they would be in danger of a needle prick if they put their fingers in without being able to see between.
We’re addressing that need. And then we’ve also added other features. There’s a new removable headrest that is adjustable height.
The Accord also have a feature that is called the intelliTrac™ Caster System, and it’s a magnetic caster system that allows the user to track straight down a corridor, the magnetic casters lock into straight mode.
But then as soon as you’re back in the room and you need to maneuver near the bed, you can just nudge it out of the magnetic and then go 360 or laterally side-to-side.
Christoph: Hopefully, of course, you don’t ever have to be in a hospital, but if you have to, even as a family member, hopefully you have a comfortable environment.
Kim, thanks for joining us on this episode.
Kim: Thank you so much for stopping in. It was great to meet you.
Christoph: If you are listening on iTunes or Spotify, we have pictures on interiorsandsources.com of these products. So, feel free to head on over there. Thanks for listening.
Listen to another I Hear Design podcast from NeoCon 2019: Sunbrella Takes Its Fabric Focus Indoors