MedSun Provides Another Source of Customer Feedback for Hospital Crib Manufacturer HARD Manufacturing Co., Inc.
MedSun: Newsletter #8, October 2006

It’s pretty simple for HARD Manufacturing, America’s leading maker of hospital cribs: “If you don’t listen—and react—to what your customers are saying about your product, you don’t stay in business. That’s the biggest source of innovation, a customer’s saying, ‘Hey, can you do this?’,” says HARD Manufacturing President William N. Godin.

The company seeks that customer feedback after every purchase, calling customers 1 month and then a year after the sale. It seeks feedback through consultations with doctors and nurses. And now MedSun provides another source of valuable input.

It was through the MedSun program that HARD became aware that some customers felt the need for more concise and visible instructions on raising and lowering the sides and ends of cribs. Years ago, HARD responded to the needs of medical professionals who raise and lower crib sides multiple times during a day by designing their cribs to meet Federal OSHA standards and minimize the possibility of repetitive strain and other injuries. But parents are interacting more frequently with their children while they are in the crib, and the parents may not fully understand how to raise and lower the sides of the cribs. This may be one reason why HARD customers have requested improved instructions on how to raise and lower the sides.

To address customers’ requests, HARD will now supply each crib with a laminated card featuring simplified instructions, in easy-to-understand language, for the proper operation of the sides and ends. Additional labels will also be attached to the rails, explaining how to lower the sides using the lift-then-squeeze handle, and how to lift them using two hands. The Consumer Product Safety Commission mandates that two distinct motions must be used to lower a crib’s sides. More than 40 years ago, HARD designed the Johns Hopkins Handle, which must be lifted, then squeezed, before a crib side can be lowered.

“We want parents and caregivers to know how to properly lower the sides for maximum access to kids—and how to properly raise them for the peace of mind a secured crib provides,” Godin said. All of the new labels will be available free of charge to facilities with HARD cribs by calling 800-873-4273.

HARD’s cribs already feature a number of health, safety, and comfort innovations. Please visit our Web site to learn more about these features: “The product just continually gets better and some of the reason for that is input from customers and patients,” Godin said. “We’re glad to add the MedSun system as a partner in our efforts to provide a high quality product.”

Note from MedSun: MedSun staff send a copy of incoming reports to the appropriate product manufacturers with the reporter’s contact information and location so the manufacturers may be informed of what is reported to the program that concerns their products. This process ensures that manufacturers and FDA regulators can both work on what steps may be necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the medical products. The process also assists MedSun sites with their fulfillment of the Safe Medical Devices Act requirements to send reports of serious injury and death to manufacturers.

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