Top Five Furniture Considerations for Patient Safety in Behavioral Healthcare Facilities
By: Norix Furniture
The physical environment in psychiatric hospitals and other Behavioral Healthcare facilities plays a key role in patient safety. Some of those environmental risks are addressed by advancements in facility design, such as creating better sightlines for visual monitoring of patients, and the use of “security” glass in doors and windows. Other elements may be overlooked during the planning or construction phase, or may be inadvertently introduced at some later point where the necessary level of scrutiny may not exist. This is often the case with the selection and installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) in patient-occupied areas of behavioral healthcare facilities.
A new whitepaper from Norix Furniture details the difficulties assessing hazards, the flow of information, first steps, product usage, and the top five furniture considerations for patient safety in behavioral healthcare facilities. The information contained in the whitepaper was developed from an interview with James M. Hunt, AIA, President of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, Topeka, Kansas. Mr. Hunt is a practicing architect and facility management professional with over 40 years of experience in healthcare projects. With his unique expertise, he assists psychiatric hospitals and behavioral health facilities throughout the U.S. Canada improve patient and staff safety, and consults with hospitals and architects on the design, building and remodeling of facilities. In addition to co-authoring the Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities, he regularly publishes articles and speaks at major conferences. Below we will share those considerations for patient safety in behavioral healthcare facilities.