Redesigning the lowly IV pole

  1. A design firm listened to nurses' complaints about IV poles. They designed the new pole as if it were a piece of furniture instead of equipment. When we asked nurses what they wanted most in an IV pole, the answer was always the same: "I want it to be stable."

    In conversation after conversation, nurses talked about how frustrating it is to search for IV poles. "We beg, borrow and steal." Each hospital we visited had an underground economy of favors owed and returned, and borrowed IV poles were a form of currency.

    To reduce the risk of cross-ward infection, we created an ID bracelet for each pole so poles from one area of the hospital could not be poached.

    Finally, nurses could have what they wanted: an IV pole that "wouldn't trip them up." We transformed drooping hangers for IV bags into a distinctive, easy-to-reach Y-leaf, and added a white board so family and friends could exchange greetings and messages. This helped break down the social isolation created by conventional IV poles. We even added a bud vase and a shelf for small objects and belongings.


    http://www.core77.com/blog/featured_...sung_13354.asp
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    About Anxious Patient

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,101; Likes: 1,979
    housewife and mother; from US

    28 Comments

  3. by   WalkieTalkie
    Looks like it's good if all you have running is IVF... heh... doesn't look very good for ICU patients
  4. by   TopherSN
    How does this address stability? Looks like the same set of wheels as every other pole I've used...
  5. by   nerdtonurse?
    You want to make me happy?

    Ever seen those feet that come down on a bucket truck once it's parked? That's what I'd like to see, a way to lock those wheels/stabilize the stand, esp. with disoriented folks. I've seen pt's try to "crawl" up the IV line and pull the pole down on themselves.

    Put muliple hooks on the pole, not just 2. I wish my folks were healthy enough for just NS and a single piggy.

    Realize that some pts use the pole like a walker. Give them a padded "grab area" that's easy for us to clean.

    The board and cup holder are cute. Let's see how you clean the cups. I'd be willing to bet they end up as mini trash cans, or have spilled sodas in them before the first shift's over -- every hospital I've been at already has the write on/wipe off boards. I'd also be willing to bet they'd break off and be nice sharp hazards within a month, especially when some kid starts swinging on them to get the pens out to draw pictures on the board that is just at "kid" level.

    For Pete's sake, go watch how the poles are used/misused. How am I going to get a PEG feeding machine and a IV setup on that pole? Or a epidural pump and an IV pump? Or how about attaching a blood warmer...

    The point is we don't have enough IV poles, we don't need super-duper expensive new ones, we just need enough poles, with enough double and triple pumps so we don't have 4 poles around one bed.
  6. by   Anxious Patient
    Nerdtonurse,

    there is a comments section on the company website (at the bottom) re the IV pole
    http://www.core77.com/blog/featured_...sung_13354.asp

    where your opinion should definitely be posted. Of if you will allow me, I will be happy to copy and paste what you wrote. The designers should know your thoughts on this.
  7. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from Anxious Patient
    Nerdtonurse,

    there is a comments section on the company website (at the bottom) re the IV pole
    http://www.core77.com/blog/featured_...sung_13354.asp

    where your opinion should definitely be posted. Of if you will allow me, I will be happy to copy and paste what you wrote. The designers should know your thoughts on this.
    You realize, of course, that engineering consultants garner about $125/hr. Sounds to me like NerdToNurse should be doing the consulting gig on the side.
  8. by   Anxious Patient
    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    You realize, of course, that engineering consultants garner about $125/hr. Sounds to me like NerdToNurse should be doing the consulting gig on the side.
    You're probably right, didn't think about that......oh, well.
  9. by   nerdtonurse?
    Er...I did spend 20 years as an engineer, ya'll. It was computers, but I just did the same thing with the IV pole that I did with a program....

    "How will an idiot break this?"
  10. by   nerdtonurse?
    I just tried to submit it, and I think I killed their computer....
  11. by   Reno1978
    Looks like a good design for floors where patients have one MIVF and a piggyback or two per shift. I would need at least 3 of them per ICU patient just to hang my drips!
  12. by   firstaiddave908
    I wonder how much somthing like this would cost the hosptials. It looks like a good idea.
  13. by   Mimi2RN
    It wouldn't work for us with Medifusion pumps, and up to five pumps on a pole, but might work with relatively healthy patients who need to ambulate!
  14. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    I think nerdtonurse? post really hit it on the head. I like the design, it looks nice but I think functionally it needs a few tweaks. Here are my suggestions:

    • Rip off the whiteboard, most rooms have one already and having a white board on an IV pole is just an accident waiting to happen.
    • Get rid of the cup holders, bud vases and mini shelves. Its not a new car its an IV pole, and we all know that those cup holders are just going to get dirty and filled with trash.
    • Add another one of the pumps in place of the whiteboard so that there are at least two pumps per IV pole. Make the design setup so the pump can be removed and adjusted when necessary.
    • Add another perpendicular Y-band (which actually makes a cross shape) so that there are four points from which the IV bags could hang.
    • Since many patients do in fact use the IV pole as walker it might not be a bad idea to actually put a handle on the IV pole so it is easier to move around for both patients and nurses.
    • I would add some sort of plastic cover or skirting near the bottom of the pole so that cords, lines and tubing doesn't get wrapped around or entangled in those thin legs of the pole. Its my favorite when a patient ambulates with an IV pole and almost has their IV line ripped out because the tubing becomes tangled in the legs of the pole.

    That is just a few of my ideas, I like that designers are looking at IV poles as furniture instead of just equipment but they need to be practical at the same time and realize that IV poles are equipment more so then furniture and we need to look at more then just the aesthetics.

    !Chris

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