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Developing the Next Generation Wall Station (ChaseDesk™) for Healthcare - A Case Study

The use of a wall station in medical offices, operating rooms and exam rooms has been gaining in popularity and becoming more prevalent over the past decade with the proliferation of electronic health records.

Author: Mike Kind.
Date: Aug 13, 2011 - 2:47:58 AM

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The use of a wall station in medical offices, operating rooms and exam rooms has been gaining in popularity and becoming more prevalent over the past decade with the proliferation of electronic health records.

Jaymil was approached by a major healthcare provider to address a specific challenge they were facing during construction of a new facility. 39 of the 176 wall stations to be installed needed to fit underneath a window sill yet maintain proper ergonomic levels of adjustment to accommodate nearly all employees. The more recognized models by manufacturers such as Ergotron and Humanscale were not able to accommodate this smaller footprint.

The result was the development of a prototype – the ChaseDesk™. The electric motor driven wall station incorporates identical technology to what can be found in a sit to stand desk. The ChaseDesk™  only required 23 inches of off floor mounting area and still provides a work surface height range of 27 ¾” to 48 ¼”.  The results were outstanding and far surpassed expectations. In addition to addressing the need for a smaller footprint, the prototype provided additional value added benefits such as increased stability and work surface versatility not found in other wall station models. The decision was made to incorporate the entire facility with this new wall station technology.

The more recognized names such as the Ergotron wall mount systems and the Humanscale V5 and V7 systems were all designed on the premise of adding a combination of gas arms to support both a keyboard tray and monitor. They also are available with attachments to support CPU’s.

The systems have been proven effective to easily adjust both the monitor and keyboard tray to the user level simultaneously allowing them to recess against a wall when not in use. The three primary downfalls of these systems are as follows –

1. Amount of Wall Space Required – The arms supporting the keyboard and monitor arms are placed on tracks that are mounted toward the lower to middle part of the wall to get the appropriate height ranges. The track lengths vary in size from a lower range of 34 inches for the Ergotron products to 60 inches for the Humanscale products.

2. Keyboard Tray Stability – While there have been recent improvements made in these systems to support key stroking, many healthcare providers continue to be disappointed in the lack of stability  of the keyboard trays causing the keyboard to have a slight bounce while typing.

3. Thin client and wireless laptop devices– Wall track systems were designed to only support standard PC and thin client environments in facilities which were hard wired. Many new construction projects as well as facility upgrades are incorporating wireless environments and the utilization of laptops by the healthcare provider to reduce the amount of IT support required; these wall station systems are not designed to accommodate laptop use.

The value added benefits of the ChaseDesk™ used as a wall station are as follows –

• Customizable Work Surface – The work surface can be designed in virtually any shape, size and color to maximize the efficiency and productivity of the area. These surfaces can accommodate both thin client as well as laptop uses. The work surface suggested designs are available as a starting point based on feedback received from our focus groups.

• Height Adjustability – The table height can be adjusted with the touch of a button which is significantly easier than the wall track systems. The advantage is that this encourages the work surface to be brought down to the appropriate height.

• Stability – The surface, driven by an electric motor identical to what can be found in a sit to stand desk provides a perfectly stable work surface and up to a 225 pound weight capacity.

• Ergonomic – Proper ergonomics dictates two levels of adjustability – one to accommodate monitor height and one to accommodate keying height. The ease of adjustment of the electric work surface combined with the addition of a monitor arm encourages the positioning of the wall station at the appropriate height by each healthcare provider in a timely manner.

The ChaseDesk™ wall station has also incorporated a built-in 180 degree stop that protects walls and windows and is priced under the competitive wall station units offered by Ergotron and Humanscale.  

Mike Kind is the author of this article on Standing Desks.
Find more information on Ergonomic Products here

View all articles by Mike Kind.

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