Bringing Caregiver Bed to Life

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Hospital community stakeholders played an active role in bringing state of the art Caregiver Bed to market.

Wesley Medical Center January 26, 2016

Wesley was the test site for the Caregiver Bed, which was developed, engineered, manufactured and assembled in Kansas. Wesley nurses and other Healthcare professionals participated in design input forums of the Caregiver Bed over the last few years.

“The days of hospital visiting hours are largely behind us,” said Joyce Soule, Wesley Healthcare’s chief nursing officer. “We recognize that the patient’s family or friends are often our partners in care. They are critical to us in situations where patients are confused or need assistive reminders. We are constantly evaluating ways to enhance our environment to provide care that is both patient and family centered.”

“And research has shown us that a rested caregiver has a great impact on creating positive patient outcomes. So we were thrilled to partner with this company to develop a bed that offers the restful, supportive environment our patients – and their families – need to heal.”

The Caregiver Bed is a retractable bed with design input from both Wesley healthcare professionals and aerospace engineers. The goal of the bed is to fit inside existing hospital rooms on a wall so it is out of nursing staff’s way, but can easily fold down when a family caregiver is ready to rest.

“In many cases, there is benefit to having a family member there with the patient – and that is especially true with pediatric patients in Wesley Children’s Hospital,” Soule said. “We can do better for those family members than the traditional recliner or cot you find in most hospital rooms.”

The beds’ heavy-duty steel framework supports the high-density polyethylene exterior that has rounded corners for safety and an embedded anti-microbial agent for cleanliness. The generous bed platform supports a custom-made Tempur-Pedic® mattress that doubles as an additional seating area within the hospital room.

“The bed fits nicely in many different-sized rooms without modification to the existing layout,” said Chris McCoy, inventor and founding partner of The Caregiver Bed. “The bed only takes about 15 minutes to install, and no wall sub-structure enhancements are needed to provide a safe and stable installation. The bed is easy to deploy, too.”

Wesley is in the process of installing 38 beds in several patient care areas throughout the hospital. Nursing staff and patient families have both shared positive feedback about the beds, including the comfort of the beds are and how much they appreciate having them available.

“Every single family member that I have talked to seems to be amazed with it,” said Kristi Haag, Wesley nurse manager. “They all talk about how comfortable the mattress is and how convenient it is for them to set-up and put away.”

The response has been so positive that Caregiver Bed is now working with other hospitals across the United States. The company is currently installing beds at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida, and is in talks with many others.

“We have had a very positive reaction to the beds,” McCoy said. “The nurses I have interacted with have only one thing to say about the beds – and that is when can they get more of them. We think there is potential to have this product become a standard in every hospital room.” My hope is we can help make a positive difference in the lives of patients, loved ones and family members staying in the hospital.

The Caregiver Bed has shown to have several hospital benefits in addition to a rested caregiver, including a reduced nurse workload, fewer patient re-admissions and greater patient satisfaction.
Wesley Healthcare is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912.  As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley Medical Center treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region.  Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Wesley Woodlawn ER, the region’s only pediatric ER and soon, Wesley Derby ER.  Wesley owns and operates Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, multiple WesleyCare clinics and is currently building the region’s only dedicated children’s hospital – Wesley Children’s Hospital.

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