The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 15, 2013

New hospital beds designed for comfort and safety

For The News Courier
The News Courier

— Athens-Limestone Hospital recently received new beds with patient care, comfort and safety in mind.

The new beds will alarm the nurses’ station if a patient tries to get out of bed and new controls will help ALH staff reduce falls by responding quickly to help patients immediately.

“The beds actually rise about a half-inch as the patient begins to sit up, helping the patient not to slide to the foot of the bed,” said CEO Kelli Powers.

The beds are part of a $780,000 renovation project. After almost two decades of daily use, the rooms needed to be renovated and upgraded, officials said.

The Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation is assisting with funding for the projects, which includes each room receiving a new hospital bed and mattress, new furniture, fresh paint and wallpaper, and updated flooring. Updated bathrooms are also included in room renovations.

“Patients who are comfortable will heal faster,” Powers said.

The mattresses have a gel surface that will improve patient comfort and reduce and heal bedsores. Also, the bed is tilted at the heel to help prevent bedsores on the patients’ heels - the most common place for bedsores, Powers said.

In addition, the furniture will be imbedded with antimicrobials, which kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, helping to prevent infection.

The design and mechanics of the beds will aid the staff in caring for patients, particularly when needing to move or lift them.

“Since there is less lifting and moving of patients, these new beds will help with staff safety as well,” said Chief Nursing Officer Jan Lenz.