A panel of workers and researchers from Dutch care organisation Omring, have started testing a new system for lifting people out of their beds and into the shower. The trial should ultimately prove whether the system provides benefits for care such as more personal control, time-saving and prevention of back injuries among employees.
The testing is being done using the ‘Meaningful Testing’ methodology. Vilans Researcher Digital Care, Hendrik Buimer: “Within this methodology, you work in sprints with technology or services that have the potential to meet the needs and wishes of healthcare professionals and their clients. A sprint is a defined period of, say, a week. Work is done in multidisciplinary teams that need to deliver a tangible result in a short period of time.’
Sit and shower
Vilans Researcher Bob Hofstede adds: ‘The complete system from AfH (Automation for Humanity) consists of three installations, and we are currently testing the ‘sit and shower’ component. This is a mobile wheelchair that can fit completely in the shower. The great thing is that we are doing this with a very diverse panel. For example, it includes someone from the facilities department who can properly assess whether the wheelchair will fit through the hallways and can navigate the corners. But there is also an occupational therapist on the panel who can see if the activities performed by care workers when using the ‘sit and shower’ are good for the back. And of course there are care workers on the panel who can assess whether working with the system will benefit them in their work. Testing is still being done with dummies instead of clients because it is a new system for the Dutch market.”
An evaluation will follow after a number of scenarios have been completed with the panel. Buimer: “We will deliver an `Effects Map’ in which the performance of the system on a number of topics becomes clear. In fact, with this we can summarise the lessons learned from the whole process and based on that, there is a go/no-go moment to see if it makes sense for Omring to roll out the system further. The great thing about the Effects Map is that other care organisations will soon already be able to have a reasonable picture of what the system can and cannot do and whether it might have added value in their own care context as well.’