How EasyShift was Created

EasyShift was created when biomedical engineers came together with nurses at the Duke School of Nursing Health Innovation Lab to create a better solution for patient repositioning.

The clinical team said that pulling patients up in bed is a daily task that is both time-consuming and physically strenuous. It often takes 10-20 minutes to gather enough staff together in the room, and boosting is a primary cause of repetitive musculoskeletal strain for caregivers.

After early prototypes were designed by the Seneca team and tested at the Health Innovation Lab, clinicians suggested the device should also turn the patient side to side, since this is often done while the team is assembled. The challenge is that patients of size often hit the side rail during the turn, requiring a sideways shift to complete the turn. This lateral shift is another primary cause of caregiver musculoskeletal strain.

Enabling just one caregiver to both turn and boost the patient would promote frequent repositioning, as well as streamline workflow for sheet change, skin care, peri care, placing mobility aids, and more. This would save time for front-line staff and eliminate two of the leading causes of caregiver musculoskeletal strain.

To make this workflow possible, the Seneca team designed a mattress overlay with inflatable cushions that can gently shift the patient up in bed and also shift laterally while turning the patient to 30 or 90 degrees. The cushions are inflated by an air pump unit that hangs on the foot of the bed, which is controlled by a remote that the caregiver can use at the bedside.

Special thanks to our key partners at the Duke University School of Nursing Health Innovation Lab.


Executive Team

Stephen Hathaway

Strategy/Operations Advisor to the CEO

Sam Fox

Chief Executive Officer

Deborah Ann Lange, RN, PhD

Chief Clinical Officer

Clinical Advisory Board

Kent Wilson

Past President, Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals

Tamara James

Director of Ergonomics, Duke Health (Retired) Managing Partner, James Consulting

Guy Fragala Ph.D., PE, CSP, CSPHP

Champion for Safe Patient Handling and Mobility