There are a few things that come to mind when the word hospital is referenced. Among them are health, quiet, clean and responsible. A hospital is a place that is constantly filled with activity, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Because of the nature of the health care institution’s role, it is a place that literally never sleeps and is constantly in motion. And therefore it is very important that anything that is utilized within its walls is durable and can withstand the wear and tear and regular heavy-duty use that is required of it. The health care industry is one that works very hard and much is required of its staff, employees and equipment every day of the year.
The Small Things Matter
One thing to consider in any hospital is the importance of the small things. When caring for the health of individuals, the details can make all the difference in what can be expected to be an uncomfortable experience. There are few occasions when someone desires to go to a hospital, and therefore, anything that can be done to accommodate and help to alleviate stress in the hospital environment can play a large role in a patient’s and guest’s experience. As with any establishment that serves people it is always important to keep in mind the big picture and overall purpose of the institution. And it is just as vital to keep in mind the importance of paying attention to details and analyzing how they all work together. Quality truly does reside in the details, and this is especially true in an establishment such as a hospital that is responsible for caring for people and making sure they feel treated as individuals. The tiniest of details can be the most important aspect of showing that an institution cares
Movement and Details
By combining the need for constant movement and the concept of paying attention to the small details there is one equipment accessory that can make an important difference in an environment such as a hospital. The small, often overlooked accessory that can help keep things in motion is the caster. Casters are the changeable, replaceable items that make many items mobile, from equipment to furniture. They are often overlooked because when they are doing their job well things move smoothly; however, that does not diminish their importance.
What’s the Job?
First, there are many things to consider when it comes to making the right choice of caster for the furniture or equipment that you desire to make mobile. There are some basic questions that can be considered that can help make the right match between the job that needs to be performed and the caster selected to do it. What is the specific job to be performed? What are the conditions in which the job is to be accomplished? What is it that needs to be moved? Is the item heavy or oddly shaped? Will it need special care while being moved? What is the distance that it needs to be moved? Over what type of terrain or flooring will the item be moving? Is the floor surface rough and textured or is it smooth and seamless? Maybe the floor is a mixture, such as smooth tiles with dividing grooves of grout? Does it need to be protected? One aspect that is particularly important in a hospital environment is sound. Therefore, does the movement need to be as quiet as possible? How often will the item need to be moved? After answering these questions and others specific to your circumstances you can begin to gather the information needed to match the needs of the job to the type of caster that will be the best suited. With today’s technology, there are many different types of casters available. Therefore, taking the needed time to consider the full scope of the job that needs to be performed, the working conditions in which it will be performed and the caster options available will greatly ensure that the caster will receive the assumed wear and tear that it was designed for.
What is the Best Match?
When it comes to choosing the caster that is best matched to the job there are many options to consider. The standard categories are Light, Medium and Heavy. These categories refer to their individual load capacities not to the caster themselves; however, they are also available in different weights. Due to the construction, design and material of each individual caster it allows each to have a different weight load capacity. Other specific details to consider is the mechanism by which the caster will be attached to the furniture or equipment that it needs to be attached to. The basic options of mounting attachment methods that are available include: top plate, threaded stem, stainless steel, expanding adapter stem, square stem, grip ring stem, pipe thread stem, modular stem, top plate swivel, and the kingpinless top plate. Another attribute to consider is the wheel material and tread. Some of the material and tread types for light and medium weight jobs include Performa Rubber with flat tread, Polyolefin, Hi-tech Polyurethane, Cushion Rubber, and Hard Rubber. For casters that will be required to carry a heavier load some of the material and tread options include: Performa Rubber with flat tread, Performa Rubber with round tread, Performa Conductive Flat, Performa Conductive Round, Polyolefin, Maxim, Hi-Temp Thermo, Polyurethane Hi-Tech, Phenolic and Cast Iron. And depending on the specific caster there are some variances available in tread size, usually ranging from 7/8” tread to 1 and ½” tread. Additionally, besides the many possible combinations that can be created form the standard available options there are also a variety of specialty casters. Some of options available include: spring loaded door casters, gravity lock ladder casters, concealed side mount casters, die-cast aluminum leveling casters, rug runner casters, high-capacity, low overall height extrathane casters and glass cutting table casters.
We at Douglas Equipment know that the decision can be challenging. And we pride ourselves, with over fifty years in the business, in being able to help you find the best solutions to your movement needs. Whether it is new casters or replacement casters, we can help you find the best ones for your workplace. Please contact us Toll-free at 1-800-451-0030, or locally at 305-888-3700. You can also reach us through the Contact Us section on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.