From maternity suites to critical care units, hospital wards must cater to the needs of many people. This is made a little more complex when we consider how lifting hoist systems must meet the requirements of certain patients, and work harmoniously with other equipment. We know how different hospital environments need different hoisting solutions, and we’ve made some recommendations to help clarify what we think is best for bariatric rooms, multibed bays, critical care units and maternity wards.
The first thing to consider in any bariatric facility is weight limit. Given that the patient is larger, it is important to remember that everything in the room must be bigger. For instance, there should be more space to manoeuvre and often double-doors will be installed to allow the patient to move freely between rooms. An H-frame (also referred to as an X-Y system) is the most useful hoisting system to move the patient, utilising the whole width of the room. Ideally, this would connect to another H-frame in the bathroom. The track should lead the lifting hoist unit through the centre of the double-door for the best usage of space.
We recommend giving yourself a little more headroom for ceiling tracks in bariatric facilities. At Innova, we also future-proof our tracking. So if the client wants to install a hoist unit that can lift 260kg, we will install track that will take up to 500kg, giving them the freedom to upgrade just the hoist unit rather than the entire tracking system. We also believe that a hoist unit with a 260kg weight limit is a good place to start.
Multibed bays can be one of the most challenging environments to fit a patient lifting hoist in. With it being a multi-user space, there will be curtain rails needed to ensure that dignity and privacy can be given to every individual. This poses as a problem for architects who must consider how hoist tracking can interact with curtain rails without impeding the functionality of the room.
Again, we’d say that a H-frame is the best tracking system as it allows the hoist to be used all over the ward for several different patients. Inset tracking will again help to maintain infection control, but it cannot avoid crossing paths with curtain rails. You’ll be glad to know that there are a couple of options that can remedy this issue. Firstly, our Airglide 360 Hoist Track Curtain System creates bridged gaps in the ceiling to allow the curtains to pass through easily. The trolley in the unit is comfortably larger than these gaps, and will travel over the space with no problem. This ensures a smooth patient transfer without compromising the curtain rail.
Alternatively, Yewdale’s Movagate can be fitted into the curtain track itself. This small track gate opens to allow the hoist to move through the curtain rail with no hassle, and then closes to ensure that the track is completely intact. The only compromise this option presents is that it can only be used with a monorail track layout.
Critical Care units put particular emphasis on the importance of infection control – and we completely understand why. In such a delicate environment, it’s imperative that equipment is safeguarded from contamination. Again, we’d say that inset tracking is best for this as it isn’t out in the open and prevents the build-up of bacteria on top of the track where it is difficult to reach when cleaning. The H-frame would be beneficial in this space as again it offers the freedom to move to most parts of the room with ease and speed.
Pendants are a regular fixture in critical care units, and they are often suspended from behind the bedhead to accommodate the medical needs of the patient. Ceiling-mounted pendants are incredibly useful for providing accessible patient support, but they pose another physical obstruction to the path of a hoist system. Hoists can now be fitted to the arm of the pendant; as the arm is extended to move the pendant, the hoist can be used over the patient’s bed. Another way to get around this issue is by co-ordinating the hoist track to a different height from the pendant, although this may limit hoist coverage throughout the room.
Maternity suites are a little bit different from the previously mentioned hospital environments. Keeping the room from looking clinical is key to creating a calming environment. Ideally, a maternity suite should allow the patient to be relaxed and comfortable to have the least stressful birthing experience possible.
Maintaining a homely feel is a difficult thing when there’s hoist track running across the ceiling, so we think that the Integralift is perfect for this situation. Folding away to look like a simple cupboard, the Integralift can be wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted and extends to reach over beds and birthing pools. The subtle aesthetic of this hidden hoist removes the sometimes mechanical appearance of hoist tracks without compromising security or hoisting options. It also can be crafted with High Pressure Laminate that will help to promote infection control through its hardened surface.
These are just a few different hospital environments in which hoists can be used. The important thing to remember when considering various patient lifting hoists is that it depends entirely on the needs of that individual. Curtain rails can now be dealt with thanks to innovative design, and hoisting equipment can provide subtle support for spaces that should look less clinical. We have ideas for all kinds of healthcare environments, so don’t be afraid to get in touch should you have any projects that you think we could help out with!