Tray Table Redesign
This bedside table, designed specifically for the hospital, has mobile elements around one axis, organic shapes with rounded edges, and integrated modular space.
University of Cincinnati
In the Fall of 2009, University of Cincinnati Colleges of Nursing and DAAP worked with the Live Well Collaborative to create new product concepts around the redesign of the patient environment in a healthcare setting, with a special focus on the bedside and tray tables.
In the hospital, bedside items never seem to be in reach of the patient. The nursing staff is often called to retrieve items, resulting in an unnecessary amount of response to call-lights. Staff are routinely clearing the overbed table, situating the call-button, rearranging the television controls, as well as other surfaces in the patient’s room.
Likewise, at home, many people consistently have a hard time getting out of bed due to various health conditions and physical impairments, such as stroke, arthritic pain, migrain headaches, among others. Many of these individuals lack the necessary handles and railings needed to get up out of bed. At the same time, they often lack easily accessible space for small items such as a heating pad, medications, beverages, a telephone, etc.
Leveraging the expertise of design and nursing faculty and students from the University of Cincinnati, the LWC team scheduled site visits to local healthcare facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities to identify needs and criteria for the patient, hospital staff, and caregivers. The team spoke with a variety of experts to understand more about the environment, routines, and care for their patients. By developing a variety of scenarios, the students engaged in empathy experiences to gain insights on some of the ergonomic challenges of interacting with a bedside tray table.
The final deliverables for this project were 19 new concepts for bedside tray tables with overarching design themes and requirements including mobility, accessibility, organization, durability, customization, and sanitary issues.