The Evolution of a Healthcare Product Design
In the fall of 2009, the national and global economic realities forced Industrial Woodworking Corporation (IWC) to look for new sources of revenue. Having already designed, developed and engineered casegoods for two companies serving the healthcare industry, IWC set out to create its own innovative healthcare furniture products to be marketed under its own brand, Knú Healthcare.
At NeoCon in June 2010 IWC debuted the hospital patient room overbed table called “the Knook”. IWC pursued the overbed table because after the bed, the overbed table is the most used piece of furniture in the patient room. The Knook addressed critical issues facing hospitals such as patient safety and satisfaction, operational efficiency, staff morale, infection control, hospitality aesthetic, and space and storage concerns. But after a few hospital trials in late summer/early fall of 2010 it was clear that there was a negative perception associated with the Knook’s tambour door.
IWC went back to the drawing board and quickly had a re-designed overbed table that eliminated the tambour door while still addressing all the issues mentioned above.
The re-designed overbed table was unveiled in November in Las Vegas at Healthcare Design 2010. The response was overwhelmingly positive and many of our concepts are now being incorporated in our competitor’s products. The president of a competing company that sells over 70,000 overbed tables per year exclaimed “this is the best overbed table on the market” after being given a demonstration.
Soon after Healthcare Design 2010, the product line grew from one table to five overbed table designs with multiple colors and customizable options. This re-designed overbed table has been selected for many high profile hospitals including Baystate Medical Center’s expansion “Hospital of the Future” in Springfield, MA (opening March 2012).
Baystate Medical Center (BMC) is an academic, research, and teaching hospital that serves as the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine. BMC is a 659-bed facility with 57 bassinets. It is the only Level 1 trauma center in western Massachusetts, treating the most critical and urgent cases in the region. BMC is home to the second-busiest emergency department in Massachusetts.
In June 2011 La-Z-Boy Contract Furniture purchased Knú Healthcare from Industrial Woodworking Corporation. IWC continues to manufacture the patient room furnishings and overbed tables while the new company Knú, LLC and their reps market these products under the Knú Healthcare name.