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A healthcare facility, by nature of its complexity and its dependence on technology, is always in a state of flux,” writes Rosalyn Cama in her book Evidence-Based Healthcare Design.

Ergotron Working in an environment of constant change makes healthcare management incredibly challenging – when each day is different, strategic planning becomes a tricky balance between leaning on assumptions and covering hypothetical scenarios.

In the case studies below, the application of design thinking to common healthcare questions gives insight into how this tool could make finding this balance a little easier.

Case Study #1 – Portable or In-built? For managers refitting existing wards or contributing to the build of new institutions, this is a central question. Portable equipment often wins out because it caters for many possible workflows, but overlooking in-built solutions also means forgoing its benefits – such as lower infection risk, constant and reliable power and internet connectivity, and space-saving layout.

Thinking deeply about how staff and patients will behave in each area of a hospital can reveal opportunities for in-built technology use. In Cama’s book, she cites an ICU in Wisconsin where nurse data entry stations are in-built, but strategically placed to allow line of sight into multiple patient rooms, as an excellent example of how design can improve staff efficiency.


Case Study #2 – Battery replacement: A 2013 survey showed that more than 80 per cent of healthcare technology managers routinely replace batteries at set intervals, without waiting for failure. This high rate of costly replacement has long seemed like the best solution to ameliorate the risk of catastrophic battery failure, which could put patient lives in danger.

In bringing the LiFE Kinnex battery system to market, Ergotron has considered how this problem could be tackled in a new way. Instead of looking at methods of battery resupply, the company has equipped LiFE batteries with smart software that offers quick and readily accessible reports on each battery’s health. With this reassurance, unnecessary battery replacements can be avoided – saving significant expenditure and waste.


Case Study #3 – Making planning predictions design thinking has been woven throughout the Westmead Redevelopment – one of the biggest public health projects in New South Wales. Alongside provisions like consultations with consumers about the use of technology in the precinct’s new institutions, the project has set-up “prototype rooms” so designers can better understand how staff work within different layouts.

It can be a challenge to visualise how our teams will work with patients and carers in new spaces,” said Westmead Redevelopment’s director of service redesign Amanda Green, “so the prototype rooms will allow us to do final tests and checks while we refine our new operational processes.

This upfront investment in design thinking will mean decisions big and small – from where to locate power points to how medicines are distributed – will be informed by realistic insight into the needs and expectations of everyone involved.

Whether your healthcare institution is established or under construction, Ergotron can help find design solutions that turn your workplace of today into an example for tomorrow. Contact us today to get started.

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