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Case story

Strong co-operation leads to better hospital beds

Under the brand name KR, able nordic has been working together with LINAK for 30 years to develop the best hospital beds on the market. This means that able nordic now regards LINAK as a strong and integrated development partner - especially when it comes to customised solutions and meeting the high Danish standards for washability of hospital equipment.

Detailed image of the OPUS 7 hospital bed and a hand control – signifying the 30-year co-operation between able nordic and LINAK. Washability is key.

Hadsten, Denmark, 2023

able nordic has a variety of hospital and care beds in their product range. When they set out to develop their new OPUS 7 hospital bed in 2018, they turned to LINAK®, just as they have for all other development projects over the past three decades. The new bed had to be optimised for washing, due to the increased frequency of hospital bed washing experienced by Danish hospitals.

 

Opus 7 bed

As a company primarily dealing with public tenders in both Denmark and the Nordic region, meeting the tender requirements is essential for able nordic’s hospital beds. According to Lars Philip Knudsen, Managing Director at KR, which is part of able nordic:

"In Denmark, we have some of the highest standards in the world when it comes to washability, which makes it an important factor in Danish tender documents. When developing the OPUS 7 bed at able nordic, we considered meeting these standards, demanding the bed to be optimised for frequent machine washing to be a key aspect of the project. This requirement placed significant demands on the bed components - particularly the electrical parts from LINAK."

OPUS 7 is a hospital bed that can be used in all wards and meets the most common needs of a patient. As a result, it can be used for various patients during the day. That is why frequent cleaning is key.

Detailed image of the position of a LINAK LA40 actuator under a hospital bed, front and side view. Close-up of an HB80 hand control. 

Washability standards

In Denmark, washability requirements are high for two main reasons - hygiene and the working environment. To reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections, hygiene must be of the highest standard. A bed has many surfaces that come into contact with many different people. These require cleaning. However, cleaning a hospital bed properly by hand is time-consuming and not ergonomic. That is why it has become very common for Danish hospitals to send a hospital bed through the washing tunnel after use.

"A washing tunnel is hard on the components, but it is our clear impression that LINAK products are extremely reliable. We have not encountered any incidents with broken LINAK components due to frequent washing," says Line D. Johansen, Quality and Compliance Manager at KR under able nordic. However, according to Line, there is not as much focus on washability abroad as in Denmark:

“In many countries, components only need to be IPX4, where the only requirement is that they can be wiped off. One of the reasons for this is that automated washing in hospitals is a costly switch. It is our impression that there is a growing global attention on washability, but that the progress is slow," says Line.

Detailed images of the OPUS 7 hospital bed equipped with LINAK actuators in washing and drying positions.The OPUS 7 bed can be easily adjusted to both washing and drying positions.
 
 

The co-operation with LINAK

The co-operation between able nordic and LINAK has lasted for such a long time because there is a high degree of mutual respect:

Detailed image of the position of a LINAK LA40 actuator under a hospital bed.

"The fact that we have worked with LINAK for almost 30 years says it all - we are very happy with the co-operation," says Henning, Production Manager, and Managing Director Lars Philip adds: "I see the LINAK team as an integrated part of our company - we work very closely together and have a high level of confidence."

The strong partnership is the result of many joint development projects. As Henning puts it:

"There are several different approaches to our co-operation. Occasionally, we approach LINAK with a requirements specification for a new product or project. On other occasions, LINAK presents new products to us. At times, we are also involved in the development work at LINAK and are asked to contribute with knowledge and ideas for new solutions - this also says something about how well and close we actually work together."

 
 

Customisation

At KR, they are committed to customising their solutions. If the different regional governments or hospitals have specific requirements, able nordic design their beds accordingly – to the extent possible. This was also the case when OPUS 7 was further developed, says Lene Dalsgaard, Sales Manager for KR under able nordic in West Denmark:

"When OPUS 7 needed to be tailored to a customer’s need after its launch, some users came up with ideas and requests for specific features, and LINAK was quick to put their thoughts into action. We had a review of the bed's functionalities with a number of professionals, and soon, LINAK was able to deliver a software-based solution that exactly matched the requirements. It is my firm belief that the demand for custom software solutions will increase in the future, and therefore our close co-operation with LINAK will also be an important strength for our company going forward."

Read more about able nordic and their solutions for the hospital and care sector on their website ablenordic.dk.

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