Buying a Podiatry patient chair or couch is one of the larger practice expenses and your choice should be carefully considered.
A Podiatry chair is a highly used item and (hopefully), will be used by many patients of varying size weight and shape, for many years.
Good quality podiatry chairs and couches can range from several hundred pounds to several thousand.
Time should be taken to weigh up the differences between the different models, get familiar with names and features.
Wherever possible go to have a look at a chair to get a feel of it. When you return to your clinic or space you’ll be putting it, you will have a mental image of how it will look. Taking photos when viewing can help.
With a good maintenance plan and routine cleaning, a quality podiatry couch or chair should last many years.
How much room do you have?
Generally speaking there are three different categories for seating your patients.
Patient chairs – Upright in design, aesthetically pleasing, modern designs
Patient couches- Functional, sturdy robust, cost effective
Hybrid couch chairs – Best of both varieties
Couches tend to have a bigger footprint than patient chairs and hybrids tend to be somewhere in the middle.
The length of the base and size of seat and backrest are generally the things which dictate how much floor space either with take up.
Consideration should be given if you need to lay patients flat in an emergency situation. Chairs kept in an upright position take up less space than couches.
The average couch length is 2 meters by 70cm, when laid flat.
What are your treatment requirements?
Deciding what features you require from a patient chair or couch is important.
Do you require the common split leg rest or a single leg rest?
How will you operate the chair? A hand control can be easier to handle or foot control for infection control?
A foot control is the preferred option from an infection control point of view. Do you have elderly patients who may find it difficult getting into a couch or chair?
Do you have bariatric patients? All patient chairs or couches are designed to go flat in emergency situations, although not all will be suitable for different practitioners or types of treatment when flat.
Are you the only one using the chair or couch?
Patient couches can be one of the most flexible choices for a multi-disciplinary clinic or practice.
If you share or sublet your room and have say a podiatrist working in the morning and a physiotherapist working in the afternoon, then both have their own requirements.
With the option of breathing holes on many patient couches both can be accommodated.
What are the costs for maintaining podiatry chairs
Obviously, depending on how many chairs you have, as with any piece of medical furniture there a wide variety of choices at different costs. The level of maintenance can depend on the type and complexity of the couch you’ve chosen.
Bear in mind how often you plan to upgrade the couch, what features,accessories and any service or maintenance that may be required.
Cheaper couches and chairs often have cheaper component parts, such as spray painted bases that chip easily or bearings that squeak after a short amount of use. Replacement parts like upholstery, arm & leg mouldings and foot/hand controls can often be a cheap and easy way to upgrade your chair.
Backup and service for podiatry chairs?
Good quality chairs and couches are generally very reliable depending on how often they are used, most require little ongoing maintenance.Moving parts can be subject to wear and tear and an annual service can be a good idea.
Manufacturers use different quality of component parts, oilite bearings last longer for example.
It is advised that you purchase from a reputable supplier with a well established brand, this will ensure availability of spare parts in the future.
Podiatry chair manufacturers
Many of the world best chairs and couches are manufactured in country’s like the UK, Germany, Holland, Spain and Italy. Some of the more well known companies include:
- Plinth 2000 (uk)
- Seers Medical (uk)
- Dancohr (Holland)
- SMD (Italy)
- Euroclinic (Italy)
- Namrol (Spain)
- Berchtold (Germany)
These are just a small selection of some of the more well known manufacturers. The ability to purchase may require a distributor in your country. Export is possible in most countries but consideration must be made to availability of spare parts.
A good quality couch or chair is a necessary investment for any professional podiatry practice. The type and cost can vary depending on budget and requirements. Spending a little time researching the various makes and models with the possibility of a test drive first can ensure you make the right choice.
Do you use a podiatry couch or chair, what did you buy and why?
Have you found a make or model particularly good?
Let us know in the comments below.