Development Background

A Better Way - Safe, Efficient Transfers


In 1973, an automobile accident left mechanical engineer Joel Lerich a quadriplegic. After several months of in-patient rehabilitation, Joel was sent home where he quickly mastered most daily tasks. One task, however, proved to be a menacing obstacle - transferring from place to place, bed to chair, chair to commode, chair to car, and the list goes on. Joel never felt quite safe or stable in a traditional sling-type lift or on a sliding board. He also became concerned about the long-term effects of lifting on his wife's health.

There had to be a better way. Knowing that this would be an issue he would face several times each day for the rest of his life, Joel drew on his years of mechanical engineering experience and began to study the mechanics of the "standing pivot transfer" - a transfer technique often used in hospitals, in which a caregiver braces a seated person's knees then lifts and pivots that person to a new location.

The advantages and disadvantages of the standing pivot transfer technique set the wheels in motion for the design of the EasyPivot Patient Lift.

The standing pivot transfer enables the person being transferred to be lifted before pivoting, so that there is no shear on the skin of the person being transferred. Also, because the feet of the person being transferred remain on the ground, his or her center of gravity remains low.

Unfortunately, these benefits weigh against one major drawback - it requires a physically strong caregiver.

Thus, the EasyPivot Patient Lift was born. The EasyPivot is a streamlined "transfer machine" designed for safe, efficient transfers that contribute to the health of the patient as well as the health of the caregiver. Dressing and clothing adjustment are simplified. Skin care and hygiene are facilitated. Caregivers can be of any shape and size. Most importantly, the person being transferred is empowered by the positive impact EasyPivot has on his or her life and environment.

"The finished product was even better than we had planned," notes Joel's wife, Barbara. "It was only a matter of days before we had total confidence in the EasyPivot. We no longer had to select aides based on size and strength - even our children could assist in transfers. Our lives have changed dramatically."

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Joel and Barbara started the Rand-Scot Corporation in 1980 to manufacture EasyPivot Patient Lifts. Now available in several models, EasyPivots are built at the Rand-Scot plant in Fort Collins, Colorado, and are in use coast to coast in the United States and around the world.