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Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.


Empowering employees to create and innovate at Ocean View
Ocean View is a community-governed organization in Eastern Passage. It consists of a Continuing Care Centre with 176 long term care beds and one respite bed, as well as many community based programs and services.

HAZARD


Within the health care sector, Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSIs) are the most common time-loss injuries, and 50 per cent of these are linked directly to the work involved in handling, transferring or repositioning of patients. This trend was reflected in the injury statistics at Ocean View, but nursing staff investigated their injuries in more depth and identified that challenges during repositioning, or the sheer frequency and volume of resident repositions, was the primary injury driver at their home. 

CORRECTIVE ACTION


Rehabilitation Assistants, Jake Harding and Rowena Graham stepped up to tackle the issue.  With an identified problem and no real, effective solution available on the market, they seized the opportunity to be creative, and invented a new product. 

The J-Ro EZ Rest is a covered foam wedge specifically designed to keep a resident lying on their side to allow ease of care without putting as much strain on staff or residents. While it sounds like a simple solution, the process from concept to creation was anything but, “It was difficult to find the proper shape, angle, material,” says Rowena. It took three months to get the first functional prototype and more than two years to get a marketable product. This involved numerous iterations which included old ‘repurposed’ mattresses, borrowed foam, and trips to the local shoemaker. 



“First and foremost, we wanted something simple to use, and accessible to staff,” explains Jake. “It had to be inexpensive. It had to keep the resident stable in a 90-degree side-lying position. After trying our early prototypes, we realized we needed to find a way to keep it from sliding out from behind a resident. Lastly, we knew it had to be easily cleaned for infection control in a healthcare setting.” 

OUTCOME

Jake and Rowena say all the time and effort has been worthwhile and they have big hopes for the future of their innovation. 

“We designed this product with the healthcare workers safety in mind,” says Rowena. “It has given us another tool to help solve an identified issue. It has given employees a tool to make their work less strenuous. And it has given residents increased comfort during care. We would like to see this product be introduced to all areas of healthcare across the province of Nova Scotia and beyond.



This is a great example of identifying a problem and empowering employees to leverage their subject matter expertise to create solutions. 


Showing 2 Comments
Avatar  Jacqui Wilcox 2 days ago

Could Jake and Rowena explain how the wedges help reduce injury with repositioning? Is it partially the technique of how the wedges are put in place?? Thank you for sharing.

Avatar  Maura Poirier 2 days ago

We purchased two of these after seeing them in Truro. They are certainly a great invention. An instructional video would be great added to this for training purposes. I feel that it is often easier to train when staff have a visual of something in use. This is my opinion anyway. Thanks to the creators for all their time and determination in creating this care aide.