Drawing blood samples from patients can be uncomfortable for patients and phlebotomists alike. Surprisingly, the design of your chair can make a huge difference in the safety, comfort and experience for both your patients and workers. That’s why it’s important to consider the design of your chair before purchasing, to get the best possible outcome for your laboratory. Below are some of the key considerations when selecting your next phlebotomy chair
Many lab equipment manufacturers overlook the use of human factors ergonomics in their designs. This is especially true for lab equipment and procedures that are perceived to be inherently low risk, such as a phlebotomy chair. This can lead to common workplace injuries such as phlebotomists’ back and neck strain, as well as general discomfort and a negative experience for your patient. The height of your phlebotomy chair and angle of its arm controls should provide the settings for optimal venipuncture for technicians based on ergonomic data and feedback from phlebotomists themselves. To ensure the best patient experience, look for chairs with supportive padding that are designed for easy patient access in and out. Once you’ve compared the ergonomic features of your chair design, it’s time to assess its configurability.
No two patients are the same, so choosing a setup with options for configuration is important. For shorter patients, a footrest impacts the posture, comfort and ease of venipuncture. Choosing a chair with built-in adjustment capabilities is key for comfortably fitting tall patients and users, and since it is customizable, it provides the ideal setting for phlebotomy workflow and efficiency. For labs with limited space, look for chairs with built-in or modular storage or 2-in-1 capacity to free up additional clinical lab work area. Additionally, a chair with interchangeable cabinet placement from right and left sides allows for long-term adaptation with your lab over time. All of these ergonomic and configurability features can greatly impact the phlebotomy and patient experience.
The last element in our checklist of considerations is the quality of construction, which impacts the total estimated lifetime of your chair. The quality of your phlebotomy chair may have a lasting impact on your potential return on investment. While choosing the less expensive option may seem ideal in the short-term, especially in these perceived low-risk clinical lab areas, you may spend more in the long term by forgetting to factor in the equipment lifespan. Opting for models with one-piece stainless-steel frames over plastic can greatly impact the projected lifespan and cleanability of your chair, as it must accommodate and withstand many patient visits daily.
To learn more about phlebotomy chairs for the clinical lab, visit labconco.com/clinical.
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