Lindsey Roddy, an RN, BSN, and Ph.D. student studying Nursing Science at UWM, is reorganizing the public health sector through innovation. As one of the first cohorts enrolled in the NSF I-Corps entrepreneurial pilot program, targeted specifically at nurses, Roddy developed a novel management system that organizes medical lines, tubes and cords.
Roddy first noticed the need for the device working as a Registered Nurse in Columbia St. Mary’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit. “There may be 21 cords and tubes connected to a given patient at one time and they are constantly becoming tangled,” Roddy says. “In the most critical patients, many medications become incompatible with each other and if mixed, could harm or even kill them.”
And this isn’t uncommon. Current methods used in intensive care units across the country and around the world are inadequate. Nurses often resort to creating their own medical tubing organization methods, using items like stickers or tongue depressors to label the lines.
“I spend a significant amount of time each shift untangling lines rather than tending to patients,” says Roddy. “More importantly, the current setup doesn’t allow patients to move freely, increasing their risk of pulling out a line as well as the potential for major complications to occur.”
But Roddy’s newly designed tool fixes all of that. The versatile device organizes up to 15 lines with a reusable ‘loop’ that attaches to the base of a bedrail, IV pole, wall, or solid surface, allowing patients to move freely without endangering their central IV access. This seemingly simple tool not only enhances overall workflow efficiencies, but reduces worker/patient injury and ultimately improves patient care.
“The UWM Student Startup Challenge really helped make this endeavor possible,” states Roddy. “Through the program, I gained valuable information about the needs of my customers and modified the design of my product accordingly.”
Working with the UWM Research Foundation, Roddy filed a US Provisional Patent and is currently developing prototypes for future partners to manufacture and distribute. Roddy hopes that after graduation she will continue to foster innovation in the healthcare field, particularly among nurses, to help produce better quality outcomes for both patients and staff.