Appropriate seating for medical patients: an audit
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Objective: To determine the number and types of chairs available for patient use; to establish minimum criteria of appropriate chairs; and to assess the suitability of available chairs to seat patients admitted to medical wards. Methods: Audit of chairs available in medical wards in a tertiary referral public hospital was conducted. All chairs relevant to patient use were photographed and counted. An expert panel determined minimum criteria of appropriate seating for older patients from functional, occupational health and safety, ergonomic, infection control and usability view points. Numbers of chairs meeting the minimum criteria level was recorded and was expressed as a percentage of the number of required chairs (hospitalized patients able to be sat out of bed). Results: A total of 270 chairs with 36 different types identified. The majority, 231 (85%) chairs, did not meet the minimum criteria. Thirty-nine chairs met the minimum criteria for patients to sit in. 113 (66%) patients were unable to sit out bed. Conclusion: This study identified that there were insufficient appropriate chairs available for patients to sit out of bed in this facility. This has potential implications for functional ability of the patients, particularly for the older person.
Australian Health Review
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified