Navigating the Hospital Mobility Challenge: Stretchers and Wheelchairs for Optimal Patient Care

Navigating the Hospital Mobility Challenge: Stretchers and Wheelchairs for Optimal Patient Care

The quality of patient care is becoming increasingly significant, and to streamline patient healthcare, functional equipment that prioritizes patient well-being is quintessential. Hospital stretcher beds and wheelchairs are two indispensable mobility solutions that enable efficient and safe patient transportation and care. Let us explore the benefits of integrating transport chairs and stretcher chairs in hospitals, different wheelchair types, and valuable guidance on selecting the right equipment to enhance patient care and streamline healthcare delivery.

The Benefits of Hospital Stretchers and Wheelchairs 

Improved Patient Comfort

Hospital stretchers and transport wheelchairs enhance patient comfort. Stretchers provide a secure and padded platform with side rails for patients during transfers, while wheelchairs offer a seated position (upright/inclined) with supportive cushioning for patients with mobility limitations. 

Enhanced Mobility 

Hospital stretchers and wheelchairs are essential for moving patients from ambulances to emergency rooms, within different hospital departments, or outside the hospital. They give easy manoeuvrability for patients with impairments and mobility issues, ensuring swift yet safe patient transfer and reduced wait times.  

Safety and Injury Prevention 

The patient transfer should be smooth without the risk of accidents or injuries. Both mobility solutions, folding wheelchairs and stretchers, have safety features like locking brakes, side rails and secure restraints with added patient protection.

Streamlined Patient Care 

Efficient patient transportation can lead to smooth flow and help medical practitioners provide the utmost patient care swiftly and without delay. Hospital stretchers and wheelchairs ensure that medical examinations, tests, procedures, and even surgeries can proceed without delays.

Different Types of Mobility Equipment for the Hospital 

Types of Stretchers 

Some common types of stretchers include standard, bariatric, ambulance, pediatric and portable stretchers

  • Standard patient stretchers have castor wheels for movement, side rails for patient safety and a flat, comfortable surface.
  • Bariatric hospital stretchers are robust giants that aid patients and medical staff.
  • Transfer stretchers can facilitate patient movements, especially transitioning from bed to operation table.
  • Ambulance stretchers are wheeled stretcher beds with heavy load capacity, ensuring smooth and fast patient movement.
  • Pediatric stretchers support the transfer of young children.
  • Folding stretchers are helpful for refuse operations with limited spaces.

Types of Wheelchairs 

Wheelchairs cater to diverse patient needs and are of different types. Wheelchairs vary in mechanisms of control and technology used. Some prominent wheelchair types for varied wheelchair price ranges are:

Shower Wheelchair

A shower wheelchair is often called a shower commode wheelchair for bathroom use. The materials of the shower wheelchair are water and moisture-resistant, with many striking features such as a cut-out seat for toileting, non-corrosive materials, and smooth wheels that can move over wet surfaces without tripping. Shower wheelchairs help individuals with mobility impairments to shower and use the toilet.

Power Wheelchair

A power wheelchair is a motorized wheelchair with an electric motor, allowing users to move independently with ease. Power wheelchairs are a good choice for elderly individuals with limited upper body strength or endurance. Power wheelchairs come in various styles, offering different manoeuvrability and performance characteristics.

Stair Climbing Wheelchair

Stair climbing wheelchairs assist patients in navigating stairs. Patients with disabilities can move across stairs, especially in areas where ramps or elevators are absent.  

Portable Wheelchair 

Portable wheelchairs are lightweight and foldable, making convenient travel within the hospital or from room to scan areas, etc. This type of transport wheelchair can be a less bulky alternative with fixed footrests.

Folding Wheelchair 

Folding wheelchairs are manual wheelchairs for convenient transportation and storage. These folding wheelchairs have rigid and folding frames useful for people who require elevating leg rests or have a limited ability to bend their knees.

Automatic Wheelchair 

Automatic wheelchairs are power wheelchairs with advanced automation features like automated reclining and tilting of the seat, height adjustments, and advanced control systems tailored to user needs. 

Transport Wheelchairs 

Transport wheelchairs or travel wheelchairs are lightweight and designed for short-term use within a hospital, suitable for patients who do not self-propel and temporary mobility needs.

Manual Wheelchairs 

Manual wheelchairs require manual operation by the patient or an attendant. They are cost-effective solutions for patients with varying mobility levels. These wheelchairs come in standard, lightweight, and heavy-duty options.

Choosing the Right Mobility Equipment for Your Hospital 

Identify Patient Needs 

The first step in choosing the suitable folding wheelchair/stretcher for your hospital is to identify the specific needs of your patients. Not all patients require the same type and have varying needs depending on their medical conditions, mobility level, and duration of use.

  • Mobility Level: Determine the patient's mobility level and decide if they are fully dependent (unable to self-propel) or fully independent (able to self-propel without assistance) before choosing the perfect one.

  • Medical Condition: Know the patient's medical condition before buying stretcher beds or hospital wheelchairs. For instance, some patients require specialized care like reclining backs, pressure relief cushions, or tilt-in-space functionality.

  • Duration of Use: Buy different wheelchair types for short-term and long-term use.

  • Consider the Size and Feature Offerings 

    Think of the features you want to be a part of the mobility equipment. Also, measure the size, weight capacity, depth, and configuration based on your facility's layout and patient mobility. For better performance and enhanced comfort, look for a headrest, footrest cushion, backrest, tilt and reclining mechanisms with braking systems for safety. It ensures that patients can access all the hospital areas without inconvenience and prevents accidents and falls. Also, check the accessibility of mobility equipment if they are compatible with hospital facilities, such as door widths, elevators, and ramps.  

    Check the Durability 

    Evaluate the durability of automatic wheelchairs and stretchers and assess if they can withstand heavy use with easy maintenance.

    Know Your Hospital Budget

    If your hospital runs on a tight budget, buy from online reputed manufacturers with multiple options for different budget ranges and choose the best one without worrying about wheelchair prices. Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from other healthcare facilities to gauge the quality and functionality.


    Hospital stretchers and wheelchairs are indispensable mobility solutions with myriad benefits for patients if chosen appropriately. Always gauge patient needs, budget constraints, available space, safety features, weight capacity, comfort, ease of use, and other additional features before buying. If you want to contribute to enhanced patient outcomes, buy from online manufacturers like Nilkamal Edge with premium quality hospital products. Buy wheelchairs at affordable costs without worrying about wheelchair prices.