We all remember the plight of Goldilocks when she entered the house of the three bears, looking for the chair or a bed that was “just right.” In a sense, that was the goal of those who took part in the “Chair Fair” on HUP’s Mezzanine earlier this year. With a variety of furniture from many manufacturers on display – from recliners and sleep sofas to tray tables and bedside cabinets— the PennFIRST team invited staff, patients, and visitors to try them out and let them know which they thought would be best for the patient rooms of HUP East (the Pavilion) and possibly HUP West.

Unlike Goldilocks, though, who was solely interested in comfort, those testing the furniture went beyond that in choosing which they thought was best. For example, Noelle Gesualdo, BSN, and Jonathan Tamm, RN, of the Silverstein 5 SICU were most interested in recliners that have arm rests that move up and out of the way for patients with multiple lines and catheter drains. And Gesualdo liked one recliner that offered multiple positions, not just down and back. “It’s really nice.”

In addition to asking people to stop by and test the furniture options, specialty groups will be brought in to ensure a variety of viewpoints, for example, infection control and EVS. “To get rid of potentially dangerous germs, you need to use harsh chemicals,” said Kathy Gallagher, MS, BSN, clinical liaison in Real Estate, Design and Construction, “and we don’t want furniture to break down.”

Sara Gally, a PennFIRST team designer, said that this was not a one-size-fits-all decision. “Infusion chairs are different from those needed for dialysis patients,” she said. “They’re on different journeys and have different needs.”

The Chair Fair is just one of the many ways that Penn Medicine is going the distance to ensure that everything at both HUP West and HUP East is “just right” for patients and their families.

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