Bed Frame Upgrade Provides More Than Comfort

New Patient Beds
Photo by David Christopher

Members of the multidisciplinary committee in charge of implementing the patient bed upgrade project, from left to right: Kimberly Cox, administrative manager of patient services; Kathy Shanahan, clinical director of the Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital, floor 4; Michael Mollerdino, Environmental Services building manager for the Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital and the Division of Biological Sciences; Nabil Makhamreh, manager of biomedical engineering; Christine Baker, RN, MSN, CWOCN, APN, clinical nurse specialist for wound care.
By Alison Szot
Staff and patients throughout the University of Chicago Medical Center are benefiting from added functionality, enhanced patient safety and improved comfort as a result of a bed upgrade project completed last month.

The initiative was planned and implemented by a multidisciplinary committee involving representatives from Environmental Services, Clinical Engineering, Nursing and Finance. It involved providing 320 new top-of-the-line bed frames with enhanced functionality, such as an integrated nurse call system, a bed exit alarm and the ability to extend into a tall bed or morph into a chair. The beds (Hill-Rom Advanta 2) replace a Stryker product that was more than 10 years old. The beds were installed over the course of seven days and staff were provided with product training and education.

In addition to the Advanta 2 frames, 40 new Hill-Rom's TotalCare Connect beds were purchased for the Intensive Care Units and will be installed in mid-March. These beds provide ICU-level features such as low air loss, lateral rotation, turn assist, percussion and vibration. Twenty-three additional TotalCare beds that are already in use at the Medical Center were refurbished to improve their functionality. An added 24 TotalCare beds that had been in storage for the past five years were outfitted with upgraded mattresses and will be used primarily in the Emergency Department.

“Upgrading bed frames house-wide was the best allocation of the funds slated for this project,” said Chris Baker, RN, MSN, CWOCN, APN, clinical nurse specialist for wound care. “The frames complement pressure redistribution mattresses purchased in 2008, and we now have a great combination that will benefit our patients and staff.”

The 2008 mattress replacement project upgraded foam mattresses with pressure redistribution surfaces, which are widely recognized as a means to prevent and treat pressure ulcers.

Baker said staff and patients already have expressed enthusiasm about the new frames. “Staff nurses found it very frustrating to manipulate the previous beds and it certainly is very good for our patients who are enjoying added comfort and functionality,” she said.

All beds will be maintained on a regular service contract by Hill-Rom. A bed depot, currently under construction in the Wyler Pavilion, will be the central location for all surface products. With that centralization, the process of transferring beds to various locations throughout the hospital will be streamlined and easier for staff nurses and Environmental Services.