Wall-Hung Cabinetry: Designing for Better Accessibility and Safety

By Brian Hazelwood, marketing manager, Midmark


Did you know healthcare workers are three times more likely to suffer from work-related injuries than construction workers?

Clinical work is demanding and can be physically strenuous. It is not uncommon for many caregivers to go home at the end of their shifts with back pain, aching necks, and sore muscles and joints. Often, these physical aches and pains are the result of having to continuously work in uncomfortable positions or straining to reach supplies.

Even if a specific injury does not occur, cabinetry and storage in the medical environment can contribute to bodily stress and strain, as well as inefficiencies and infection prevention concerns.

As a leading medical solutions provider focused on the design of the clinical environment to improve the healthcare experience, we knew we needed to design cabinetry that adapts to clinical staff—not force staff to adapt to the cabinetry.

Midmark studied numerous healthcare facilities across the US to identify elements that were missing from much of the current cabinetry used in clinical environments. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 76% of healthcare workers are female, while the average height of females in the US is just under 5’4”. We found that the typical cabinetry found in clinical environments was not designed for them. In many instances, they need to use stools or other devices to see or reach supplies on upper shelves of cabinetry. This is inefficient and can pose a safety hazard.

Working closely with healthcare staff, infection prevention specialists and ergonomics experts, we designed a line of wall-hung cabinetry that can improve ergonomic reach and visibility while helping enhance storage efficiency and support infection prevention.

Synthesis Wall-Hung Cabinetry incorporates ergonomic principles and is designed for the caregivers who interact with cabinetry in the medical space, creating a better caregiver experience at the point of care. The new Midmark line of cabinetry features base and tall cabinets that better position the most-used areas of storage for easier reach by physicians and staff.

The main benefits of the new line include:

  • The lower upper height and thinner depth of the cabinets improve access to storage with less reach and lean required.
  • The use of gravity-fed, angled flow shelving improves visibility and access to supplies, even for items stored toward the back of the cabinet.
  • The wall-hung cabinetry frees floor space for better cleaning and disinfecting, allowing better wall-to-wall cleaning and disinfection in high traffic areas and treatment spaces.

Synthesis Wall-Hung Cabinetry is another example of how we are continually looking for opportunities to incorporate ergonomic principles into equipment and room design to help enhance the point of care experience and improve the quality of care provided.

The line of cabinetry is part of the Midmark Synthesis Cabinetry Collection that includes base storage cabinets, overhead cabinets, mobile treatment cabinets and specialty cabinets. The collection is designed to help caregivers and healthcare organizations maximize existing space, meet workflow requirements and compliance regulations, and complement infection control protocols.

To get started on designing your clinical space or creating more value with your existing environment, visit midmark.com/medical/design-center.