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Safe and Accessible Examination Tables By: Abby Justice, alicia roberson, & Peyton brown

PROBLEM

Disabled, elderly, and pregnant patients have had a historically difficult time getting a thorough assessment because getting onto an examination table can be challenging. The majority of medical offices have fixed-height exam tables, which can be problematic for patients with mobility limitations. As a result, patients are embarrassed and uncomfortable when going to the doctor’s office and may actively choose to avoid the experience altogether.

Solution

The proposed solution is an attachable handrail that can be used when patients have trouble getting onto the fixed-height examination table.

Pros

  • Cheaper than putting height-adjustable tables in every room.
  • Can be added or removed from a table when necessary.

Cons

  • Nurses may still be needed as leverage for patients when getting onto examination table.
  • May not be compatible with all examination tables.

Other Views/Solutions

Current solutions to the problem of examination tables are limited.

  1. One solution is a height-adjustable table that can move up and down based on patients needs. However, these take up a large amount of space in the examination room, require a level of knowledge/training on how to operate them, and are very costly.
  2. Elements such as straps, stabilization cushions. wedges, and rolled up towels are also used. These help patient transfer onto table while allowing them stability. However, these simple solutions still require the nurse to be used as leverage when getting onto examination table.

Conclusion

A detachable handrail offers the most convenience to patients and healthcare providers alike. The removable rail offers quick access to those patients who need it, and easy detachment for those who don't. It is cost efficient and allows easier access to the patient to provide a more thorough examination.

References

Credits:

Created with images by Charles Deluvio - "Doctor's office" • National Cancer Institute - "A Caucasian male doctor from the Oncology Branch consults with a Caucasian female adult patient, who is sitting up in a hospital bed."