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Medical Furniture – Be Careful Where Your Patients Sit

Dan Greenfield | July 13, 2016
Tags: , , , , , , , , Furniture 1 comment

Medical Furniture Promotes Health and Well Being

Medical Furniture

An example of Medical Furniture – Aviera Metal Chair from Ideon

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that price and delivery dates are the most common questions we get helping physicians procure medical furniture.

Prices for medical furniture are often significantly higher than they expect, and physicians are surprised at the time it takes for delivery. There is a temptation to get non-health grade furniture at a local furniture outlet to save money and time.

Our advice is to pay careful attention to your patients’  needs. Consider furniture as an extension of the patient experience and their care. Furniture can set the tone for their visit and better ensure patient health and well-being.  Healthcare furniture typically lasts longer and is easier to maintain if specified correctly.

For some insight into medical furniture, I turned to my business partner Patricia Fortenberry.  She has more than 20 years of experience specifying and procuring furniture.

The Price

So what goes into the price of medical furniture?  Let’s use patient chairs as an example.


Selecting the right furniture comes down to structure, maintenance, and infection control.

Patient chairs that meet healthcare grade standards should be impervious to liquids and ideally be antimicrobial. They also should contain these design/construction elements:

Maintenance: The ability to clean out between seat and back with fabric which is easier to clean

Support: An inner metal frame for support with metal to metal connectivity

Infection Control: Powder coated or urethane arm caps

Safety: Glides appropriate to the floor surface. If you need castors on a chair, make sure they can lock.

Fire Code: Specifications can vary from state to state

The Delivery Date

When you order a furniture, you have two options: quick ship or “custom.”

Quick ship means a quick turnaround but you have very few, if any design options. Custom in this case means you can choose from a set of options to meet your needs; it does not mean building a chair from scratch, which is impractical and unnecessary.

The average delivery time for a custom chair is 8 to 10 weeks from the date the order is placed.  You need to plan ahead if you want your furniture in place when you office or clinic opens.

Why so long?  Most healthcare furniture is not built and stocked in a warehouse ready to be shipped. Furniture is built on a per order basis.

Some furniture manufacturers offer fabrics;  others don’t. Or they don’t offer a healthcare fabric that you want to use. In those cases, you will need to select fabric from a textile manufacturer and order as “customer owned material.”

All this can be handled by an experienced medical interiors designer with healthcare furniture expertise.

For more information about procuring healthcare furniture, please contact us to see how we can save you money and ensure you have appropriate furniture for your patient and staff needs.

About admin

Dan Greenfield is co-founder of Health Space Design and heads up marketing and business operations. He is a marketing strategist and business development executive with more than 20+ years of experience in politics and corporate America. He has organized more than a dozen conferences around the country on social media, which featured some of the world’s largest corporate brands and his articles have appeared in numerous marketing publications.

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1 comment

Robert Butler - July 20, 2016 Reply

Great post and I am in the medical furnishing industry and I can agree to all of the article.
Winco is a design and custom furnishing manufacture in Ocala Fl. We can relate to the issues furnishing purchaser have and the “Sticker Shock” they will get with Medical Furnishing over everyday furnishing or Non Medical Furnishings.
This day and age with Patient Satisfaction a huge factor it is imperative that the patient/customer start their experience comfortable and to feel as if they are being treated the best they can be treated.

Thank you for this article and allowing my comment.

Robert Butler
Regional Sales Manger
Winco Mfg.
Houston, Texas

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