Herman Miller Healthcare Leads the Way with

Introduction of Compass™ System

Company Reconnects with Continuum to Further Enrich Healing Environments







June 07, 2010




Herman Miller, Inc., 855 East Main Avenue, PO Box 302, Zeeland, MI 49464-0302






Driven by its commitment to the healthcare industry,


Herman Miller Healthcare, a division of Herman Miller,





, navigates a new category of modular furniture with the introduction of its CompassSystem at


NeoCon, June 14-16 (# 3-330). The result of an ongoing collaboration between Herman Miller and




, a global innovation and design consultancy headquartered in Boston, Compass revolutionizes


how designers and end-users address the constant state of change in healthcare spaces, all while

providing a consistently superior experience for patients, families and staff.

“Compass was designed with change in mind. Its approach to furnishing healthcare interiors includes

structural, surface and storage components that provide unexpected levels of flexibility,” says Herman Miller

Healthcare President Beth Nickels. “It also enables healthcare providers to reduce costs through a

functional design that helps improve efficiency, quality of care and delivery, and the process of planning and

installing. While many current solutions attempt to meet those needs, none adapt as quickly as Compass to

the changing landscape of healthcare.”

The company’s second design collaboration with Continuum – following the 2008 launch of the awardwinning

Nala patient room chair – Compass was designed to not only meet but exceed the functional and

aesthetic requirements of healthcare interiors. For over two years, Herman Miller and Continuum gathered

observations from more than 550 individuals – from nurse managers to hospital administrators – to identify

the four primary needs of this dynamic environment. The furnishing attributes ranked as most important

included accommodating changes in technology, providing patient and family comfort, healthcare

appropriate functionality, and supporting caregiver efficiency, all which served as key drivers in the design

and development of Compass.

“Our philosophy is that you need to live something first-hand to truly understand it, which is why we began

this project by studying the patient experience from all angles,” said Continuum President and Chief Design

Officer Gianfranco Zaccai.

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Compass’ True North: Quality of Care

As a valuable and needed solution for a variety of healthcare spaces, especially acute care and outpatient

facilities, Compass is an essential component to creating a welcoming aesthetic within a patient room.

Beyond its visual appeal, Compass also provides an array of benefits that contribute to improving the

experience of working, visiting and healing:

Infection Prevention:


Its innovative sink and faucet design reduces splashing – a major


contributor to the spread of infection – while its combination of seamless, wrapped surfaces and

overlapping tiles minimize the potential for liquids to seep into unseen areas.

Greater Cleanability:


With Compass intentionally designed to be raised off the floor, the room can


be cleaned quickly and thoroughly. The added space also maximizes the feeling of openness – a

critical consideration in the context of increasingly smaller healthcare spaces.



A necessity in today’s healthcare environment, Compass’ ability to be easily


assembled, disassembled, reconfigured and refreshed affords healthcare organizations the

opportunity to implement ongoing workflow and efficiency improvements without room demolition or

care interruption.

Available in a palette featuring a range of options suited for traditional or contemporary healthcare settings,

the Compass System’s tiles, components and shelves are available in eight standard, 99.9 percent PVCfree

Durawrap finishes, including woodgrain and solid finishes. Additionally, an extensive customization

program offers specifiers the ability to select the ideal color and pattern. Work surfaces are available in 15

Corian colors and with the option of integrated backsplashes to support cleanability.

Compass was developed according to Herman Miller’s industry-leading Design for the Environment

protocol, which emphasizes recyclability of materials, recycled content and ease of disassembly. It is up to

37 percent recyclable and contains up to 58 percent recycled content. Compass carries a 12-year warranty

and will be available September 1, 2010.

About Herman Miller’s Healthcare Businesses

Herman Miller Healthcare, Nemschoff, and Brandrud deliver thoughtful applications in support of healthcare

environments for the well-being and comfort of staff, patients, and their families. Through a network of

clinical strategists, clinical designers, and sales professionals, the companies provide research-based,

problem-solving solutions to improve working and healing environments. Herman Miller is a charter member

of the Health Facility Institute; a sustaining member of the Coalition for Health Environments Research; and

a Research Partner with the Center for Health Design.

About Continuum

Continuum is a global innovation and design consultancy with offices in Boston, Milan, Shanghai, Seoul,

and Los Angeles. Continuum was founded in 1983 with the philosophy of applying user research to uncover

opportunities for innovation and applying interdisciplinary collaboration in transforming such insights into

compelling design solutions. Since its inception Continuum and Continuum Advanced Systems have been

focused on merging humanistic values with leading edge healthcare technologies.

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