The Nightingale Awards are the industry's first and most prestigious healthcare-product design competition. Sponsored by Contract magazine in association with The Center for Health Design and Vendome Group, LLC (publishers of HEALTHCARE DESIGN) and judged by a panel of healthcare facilities executives and interior designers, the Nightingale Awards recognize the best new products exhibited at the annual HEALTHCARE DESIGN conference. This year's winners—announced at HEALTHCARE DESIGN.07 last November in Dallas—are presented below. Our congratulations go to all of them.

Centé by Brandrud


Designed by David Ritch and Mark Saffell of 5D Studio, Centé is designed to address issues of patient handling, patient therapy, and caregiver ergonomics. Centé features the combined performance of tensioned elastomeric mesh seating surfaces, engineered articulating components, and a quality standard focused on healthcare environments.

Centé's proprietary tilt mechanism allows patients and caregivers to more safely perform ingress/egress activities and provides a slightly reclined resting position for improved circulation and comfort. Standard caregiver-activated pivoting arms allow for safe patient transfer conditions and provide clear access to the patient. Tensioned elastomeric woven materials for both the seat and back reduce the potential to develop pressure sores while seated, and reduce heat build-up through air circulation. Optional rear casters provide a convenient mobility feature for staff and caregivers when moving the chair from room to room. For more information, visit http://www.brandrud.com.

The AgION® Upholstery Collection by C.F. Stinson


The technology used in the AgION Upholstery Collection is a new approach to antimicrobial protection. AgION is a patented, safe, antimicrobial technology that actively targets bacteria on the protected surface of the upholstery for the life of the piece of furniture. Silver ion technology is already used in medical devices and consumer products alike (catheters, cell phones, etc). The antimicrobial will not abrade or wash off, as the Silver ions are embedded within micro-sized carriers called zeolite and then encapsulated into the durable, soft surface of the upholstery. Moisture in the air (ambient moisture) or direct contact with moisture (like a sneeze or human contact) activates the release of silver ions to the surface at a slow and steady rate. AgION is FDA approved and EPA listed and is the first PVC-free upholstery option of its kind.

The AgION Collection is available in four patterns with distinctive grains: Optic and Wink impart contemporary, iridescent styling with subtle graining. Silverado and Sterling offer a more traditional look and feel with rich, leather-esque grains. Each of the patterns is available in an array of colors and is soft to the touch. For more information, visit http://www.cfstinson.com.

The Connect Chair by IOA Healthcare Furniture


The Connect Chair, with its smooth and safe motorized movement, can be reclined to any position desired, including a flat position. With the touch of a button, the chair can be safely raised all the way to a 32" height, facilitating patient transfer to and from the bed, reducing the risk of injury for both patient and staff.

By improving the well-being and morale of hospital staff and reducing the risk of injuries for patients and staff, the Connect Chair has a positive effect on the quality of care. The chair's versatility to function as an exam table gives facilities more options for performing diagnostic procedures and delivering care in ambulatory care and emergency departments, as well as other outpatient settings.

For more information, visit http://www.ioa-hcf.com.

Opus™ Overbed Table by Nurture by Steelcase


The Opus Overbed Table is more than just a place for patient meals; it supports nearly every activity in the room. By observing how doctors, nurses, family, and patients use the table for nearly everything that happens in the patient room, Nurture's design for the Opus Overbed Table focuses on accommodating these activities in a simple, but thoughtful way.

The new design has two top surfaces: one stationary at standing height, ready for care providers; and the other a height-adjustable patient surface with non-handed, concaved shape and soft corner radii for patient comfort. The table is highly durable through the use of appropriate plastics acting as bumpers and edges that can't be picked at by restless patients. The tabletop surfaces are made of thermo-fused material with no visible seams, and it is easily cleaned. For more information, visit http://www.nurturebysteelcase.com.

The Height-Adjustable Toilet by Pressalit Care


The height-adjustable toilet from Pressalit Care enables individuals with a range of muscular disorders to use a toilet safely. Level transfers from a wheelchair are facilitated, and ambulatory individuals with muscular impairment receive assistance both sitting and standing. Adjustable support arms add safety and ergonomically appropriate support.

A durable steel frame supports up to 440 pounds, and the low-maintenance polycarbonate facade wipes clean with soap and water. The height-adjustable toilet is an understated flat cabinet, designed to minimize its presence in the toilet space. The large split-flush control is a designed for easy use by people with little or no twist or grip capacity. The sleek, elongated bowl insures people using wheelchairs have appropriate access for transfers.

The adjustable toilet makes normal toileting practices available to those who would otherwise depend on disposable absorbent undergarments, and thus reduces waste. A user-selected low-flow flush feature also minimizes water waste. For more information, e-mail usa@pressalitcare.com or visit http://www.pressalitcare.com.