Origins of a New Product Design - The Wall Mount Scale
You could say that medical scales in a hospital are, for the most part, the most ignored piece of diagnostic equipment in a medical center. Typically the approach is to buy it once; put it in place where it can be used as needed, and then pretty much forget about it. Unless of course, you need something more specialized to help weigh your patients who are not ambulatory. Then other scales are needed to fill the gap for these applications.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of specialized medical scales that can meet these requirements. This includes chair scales, which are larger platform scales with a built-in seat or bench that enables patients who cannot stand, to sit comfortably in the chair to get their weight taken.
Wheelchair scales are another popular type of scale where a patient in a wheelchair can be wheeled onto a large flat weighing surface to have a weight taken. For semi-ambulatory patients, a chair can be place on a wheelchair scale, have its weight tared out, and then a patient can sit in the chair for weighing.
Also in use for many years are hospital beds that feature built-in scales that can take a non-ambulatory patient's weight whenever needed; just tare out the bedding and mattress weights accordingly.
Additionally, manual operated, hydraulic lift scales with stretcher attachments have provided an option for weighing non-ambulatory patients. Lastly, large built-in floor scales are popular for weighing patients in stretchers as well. When constructing new hospitals and medical facilities, these scales can be incorporated into the design; typically on the first floor when building new facilities.
Yet for existing medical buildings, adding a large built-in scale for weighing patients in stretchers is cost prohibitive; that's where wall mount scales come in handy.
Innovation for a Missing Product and Application
About fifteen years ago, a new type of innovative, large platform weighing system was introduced to the medical community. The first few models were designed and engineered for weighing patients in wheelchairs and stretchers.
The large weighing surface platforms are held in an upright (vertical) position when not in use. For example, SR Scales' wall mount systems take up less than four inches of space when the platforms are raised and stored in their upright positions. The scale's frame is connected to the weighing platform at the lower, floor-based edge. When lowered, the platform pivots to the ground and is automatically activated, ready to take a weight. In order to make the platforms safe when being lowered (and raised), counter-balancing actuators in the platform enable a single person to easily lower and raise the unit.
These scales go by a number of names depending upon the brand and manufacturer, but are commonly referred to as "wall mount" scales.
The typical weighing practice is to take a patient's weight, whether in a wheelchair or on a stretcher, and then tare out the weight of the device (wheelchair or stretcher) to arrive at the weight of just the patient. Alternatively, if a single device, such as a wheelchair, is going to be used repeatedly to weigh individual patients, such as in a long-term care center, you can weigh the wheelchair by itself on the wall mount scale, then zero out the wheelchair so the display reads "0.0 Lbs." You can then remove the wheelchair and have resident (patients) sit in the wheelchair, wheel them onto the platform to take their weights without having to tare out the wheelchair weight every time. After taking all the patients' weights, the platform can be easily raised back into place against the wall.
Larger wall mount scales for weighing patients on stretchers provide hospitals with an attractive and functional alternative to bulky sling or lift scales. The wall mount scale's narrow frame provides an ideal space-saving design for hospitals to store the scales when not in use. For example, SR Scales' extra-large hospital stretcher scale, the SR7020i, takes up less than four inches of wall space when not in use. Yet when folded down to take a weight, the scale's large 38" x 58" platform can accommodate hospital stretchers with a weight capacity of 1,000 pounds.
Continuous advances in wall mount scale technology provide improved features to meet the growing demand for this important category of scales. Check back with your scale provider of choice to learn more about wall mount scales.