Hart to Heart Transportation values safety. A Maryland-based provider of transportation, ambulance and wheelchair services in four eastern states, the company declares on its website, “Our Risk and Safety Department ensures safety is at the forefront of our transportation service and instills this standard in our staff. Proactive policy development and revision as well as regular employee safety reminders solidify our commitment to the safest patient care possible.”
The right equipment can go a long way toward ensuring that safe care in the field, and so when Hart to Heart executives got a gander at Ferno’s EZ Glide stair chair with its new PowerTraxx feature, they recognized it would be a beneficial tool for their crews.
“It’s definitely a safer chair all around,” says Lisa Sievers, who oversees risk and safety issues for the company. “The crew no longer actually has to lift the weight of the chair and patient up and down what can sometimes be three flights of steps. With the PowerTraxx, they can just lean the chair back, allow the tracks to grip the steps, and glide the chair up and down the stairs.”
PowerTraxx brings motorization to the tracked EZ Glide familiar to Ferno users, letting them use simple paddle-style controls to automate most of the work of ascending and descending. The EZ Glide boasts an industry-best 500-lb. weight capacity and 512 square inches of patient seating surface to help keep larger patients comfortable; the PowerTraxx adds its capability via a rechargeable Milwaukee 28-volt lithium ion battery that is commercially available. The EZ Glide is available with or without PowerTraxx and can also be retrofitted.
Hart to Heart has one PowerTraxx unit on hand and 11 more on the way. Company leaders believe they will be safer not only for employees and their backs, but for their numerous elderly and limited-mobility patients as well.
“Another nice feature of the chair is that a crew can pause midway on the stairs and the PowerTraxx will stop and stay positioned on one step,” says Sievers. “I think with that, the level of trust goes up on the patient’s end as well—it’s much more comfortable and reassuring for them.”