During the last six months, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time visiting the hospital and the various departments within. Thanks to no mobile signal and network, I found myself thinking about the running of the hospital. The sea of equipment in the dental treatment area was nothing short of mind-boggling.
Have you ever considered how much hospital furniture there is in the world? You’ve only got to take a look at the web to see how many companies are competing in the hospital furniture business. But, as this blog says, it shouldn’t all be about price.
To really illustrate this point you might be surprised to realize that in 2013, the hospital furniture industry was worth an estimated 1.8 billion. It has only gone upward since!
As well as the competitiveness on price, the sheer range of products available must be taken into consideration. Even something as apparently simple as healthcare seating can be broken into a number of subcategories.
So Why Choose Quality?
Hospitals are under extremely tight budget constraints and it might seem that the most sensible or even only option is to purchase the cheapest hospital furniture you can find.
However, there are a number of reasons why this is not the best solution.
The first thing to consider is how long you can expect the furniture to last. Sadly, cheaper versions are often inferior quality and will disintegrate far quicker than the quality products.
If a low-quality chair lasts for five years and costs two-thirds of the price of a quality one that lasts ten, which is really the better value?
It’s not just that the quality furniture will last longer and be cheaper in the long run. It’s also about the perception of the patient. A hospital which keeps changing its furniture can be perceived as wasting money. The patient won’t know this is because of poor quality furniture.
Keeping everything clean is exceptionally important in hospitals. There are many different bacteria and viruses waiting for the opportunity to jump around the hospital.
You might not think that the quality of the furniture can make a difference to this but it can. A poor quality piece of furniture can have a light protective coating. Once this coating is gone the germs can easily find tiny cracks to lodge themselves in. These are not easy to keep clean and the germs will then be able to spread.
A higher quality product will not have this issue as the protective coating is more substantial and there is nowhere for bacteria to hide. Plus there is the maintenance issue. Hospitals are huge and there’s cleaning staff always working around-the-clock. Higher quality furniture is easier to maintain.
If you look to purchase the cheapest hospital furniture you can find then you are unlikely to get a discount, no matter how much of it you want. The reason for this is that the prices are already as low as they can possibly go.
However, quality furniture can often be purchased in bulk with discounts, making the price very little more than the lower quality product. If you’re not ordering enough yourself then it should be possible to merge your order with another hospital in order to get the best possible discount, which I am pretty sure most hospitals do.
Finally, if you are operating a private hospital then you need to create a certain level of appearance. In this instance, the money side can be virtually forgotten as you need to put your patient’s perceptions first.
High-quality furniture will make the right statement and help to attract the patients you need to operate successfully. It will also make people feel valued and develop the trust that they’re in a place that cares. Rather like how we get a good impression of someone who is well-dressed.
Hanging around the hospital for hours on end is never exciting. But when the wait is comfortable, it makes a big difference.