Will Innovative Chair Designs Help Facilitate Patient Care?

Robi Garthwait, Contributing Editor

      Among the many complexities physicians face when treating podiatric patients is the proper placement of an individual for treatment purposes. Accuracy is essential for the numerous procedures that doctors perform and the podiatry table – or chair – that one uses can make a difference in patient outcomes.

      The Midmark Corporation aims to raise the bar in this category with the introduction of its Midmark 647 Barrier-Free® Podiatry Procedures Chair and 646 Basic Podiatry Procedures Chair.

      Both chairs feature a totally redesigned foot section, according to Midmark. The chairs also feature easy-to-reach integrated touch controls on both sides of the foot section.

      The chairs also address the issue of cleanliness. Both the 647 and 646 chairs feature a patent pending design that covers glides and chair components, thus preventing the collection of dirt and debris. The foot section is also sealed. This helps reduce both cleaning and maintenance time.

      Alan Block, DPM, MS, offers rave reviews for the 646 model. “I would like to replace all the chairs in my office with the 646,” says Dr. Block, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and Chief of the Section of Podiatry at Ohio State University.

Why Ergonomic Design Is Important

At a time when ergonomics is a key concern, especially when it comes to handling patients, Dr. Block praises the chairs for being ergonomically correct.

      “The design incorporates true ergonomics for both the patient and the physician,” states Dr. Block. “There are no sharp edges and the design is symmetrical and has a flow to it. The design makes the chair seem smaller than it is, which is less intimidating to the patient.”

      Disabled or obese patients often experience difficulty getting onto procedure tables because the tables are not low enough. The 647 chair model addresses this issue by lowering the seat height to 19 inches above the floor. Not only does the chair go down to wheelchair access height, the company says the chair also rises to 40 inches, ensuring proper positioning of the patient. Both models feature a weight capacity of 450 pounds.

      Dr. Block says it is easier for patients to get into and out of the chair due to the fact that it sits lower to the ground. He adds that there is “less time wasted helping patients situate themselves.”

      Dr. Block also credits the chair designs for their containment of tissues and waste. this also facilitates less time spent cleaning up the room.

      In fact, Dr. Block can think of no drawbacks to using the new chairs. He says they “offer every feature I could imagine and those that I could not.”
      “Knowing that I have three 20-year-old Midmark chairs in my office, I could be happy with this design for at least that long,” adds Dr. Block.

      Ms. Garthwait is a freelance writer who lives in Downingtown, Pa.

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