News Archive (2010)

Device helps prevent injury during joint-surgery rehab.

Patients recovering from hip or knee surgery can get up and around safely without fear of falling by using a new device that is assembled and welded in Chandler.

The equipment, Secure Tracks, was installed at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital in Phoenix and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West.

A study found the patients also heal more quickly and with less pain.

Walking is healthful, medical professionals say, but the threat of falling is a hazard to patients and to medical staff helping them.

Secure Tracks, welded by Astra Fab, consists of a ceiling-mounted monorail track, a trolley and a U-shaped support device that allows patients to stand upright and walk with a natural gait without a harness.

It was patented by Les and Pamela Dace of Surprise, a couple who had relatives who suffered injuries in falls during rehabilitation.

"We decided there had to be a better way," said Les, who credits his wife with the "aha moment" that led to the invention.

The couple designed Secure Tracks by working with biomechanical engineers, physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons.

A six-month clinical study was conducted with Banner Del E. Webb and Banner Sun Health Research Institute in collaboration with The CORE Institute, a north-Phoenix-based orthopedic practice with six clinics, four physical-therapy sites and three research-and-development labs in Arizona.

Researchers looked into the differences between Secure Tracks and a traditional walker in terms of patient rehabilitation and recovery. The research found that patients walked up to 152 percent farther and 45 percent faster with Secure Tracks and with a more-normal gait and less pain.

"The time to up and go is usually two weeks for hip patients, and that time was significantly reduced, and the pain was reduced because they got active sooner," said Erica Brinker, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing at The CORE Institute. "Our physicians are extremely happy with the outcomes."

Staff members at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley tested Secure Tracks by purposely trying to fall while using the device, but it held up well, said Susan Hoffmeister, the hospital's clinical director of orthopedics.

"It's really innovative, and I think going to be great for the patient population and for the staff," she said.

The Daces have a lease-to-own program in which Secure Tracks can be installed on a three-, four- or five-year lease for less than what a physical therapist would cost over the same time.

Many hospitals will use two physical therapists to walk with one patient. Secure Tracks takes the place of the second therapist, and the remaining therapist is free to monitor the patient's gait.

Some hospitals and rehab centers have lifts that roll down the corridor and lift the patient out of a wheelchair, but those devices are used for lifting, not therapy.

"Ours is the only truly rehabilitative device of its kind," Les Dace said.

The inventors, who are fielding interest from around the country, just installed two Secure Tracks at Coronado Surgical Recovery Suites in Henderson, Nev.

Hoffmeister sees wider potential, such as for use with patients recovering from mild strokes or other problems.

"Getting them up and going is very good for recovery from any kind of disease," she said.

A video of Secure Tracks in use can be seen at securetracks.com.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2010/12/27/20101227biz-cr-tracks1228.html#ixzz19dyWnFMr

Valley Man's Invention May Change Face of Health Care.

Updated: Sunday, 14 Nov 2010, 9:47 PM MST
Published : Sunday, 14 Nov 2010, 9:47 PM MST

FOX 10 News

PHOENIX - Only on FOX -- a doctor says it's probably one of the biggest advancements in the last 100 years for patients going through rehab. One valley man is trying to change health care.

The track is 75 feet and stretches along the ceiling of a hospital hallway. It's a machine designed to prevent patients from one of their greatest fears -- falling during therapy.

Danny Bianco is a physical therapist assistant at Banner Dell Webb Memorial Hospital, the first hospital to install Secure Tracks. Patients used a walker before the tracks were there.

"So what you want to do is take the machine, pull it up into the patient's armpits, like this. You want at least like an inch or two for the patient's comfort," Bianco said. "But for the most part, people like it."

Catherine Brazil underwent knee replacement. She said the machine works well and feels good.

"As a therapist, I can keep my distance. I can see how her hips are moving up and moving down, and then I can adjust it from there," Bianco said. "I think it's probably the biggest advancement in the last 100 years. Walkers have been around since the late 1800s."

Dr. David Jacofsky said patients are walking further and sooner, and a study shows there's less pain.

"I think it just goes to show that one person, in theory, can change health care. I think this will become the standard of care nationally," Jacofsky said.

That one person is Les Dace, a former health care consultant who invented Secure Tracks with his wife.

Relatives had fallen during rehab in hospitals.

"They are scared to death that they are going to fall after their surgery," Dace said. "It's really low-tech when it comes to a technical scale, but it really does what it was designed to do."

Secure Track Patient Support System (Fall Prevention)


Hospital Sees Improved Outcomes with New Secure Tracks Patient Support System; Major Breakthrough Represents the Future of Fall Prevention

The Walker Most Patients Use Today Was Patented in the 1940s Innovative New Secure Tracks Decreases Patient Falls and Improves Recovery Times

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- "We embraced the opportunity to be a beta hospital site for the launch of Secure Tracks," said John Harrington, CEO of Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. "We are always looking at ways to improve our patient care as well as ways to help our staff provide that care."

A reduction of the frequency and severity of patient falls also results in a competitive advantage for hospitals. Due to less intensive, costly care and a reduction in liability claims, hospitals can dramatically improve orthopedic service line margins and increase their bottom line. Recent changes to Medicare policy prevents the reimbursement to hospitals for "never events" that shouldn't happen such as falls that occur during a patient's hospital stay. Informed consumers of health care also actively seek facilities that offer the latest equipment that can lead to faster recovery times and improved outcomes.

"Secure Tracks gives me a greater level of confidence that my patients won't fall, and it frees me from having to support their weight," said Don Dixon, physical therapist, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, Arizona. "The system is easy to lower from the ceiling and adjust and it takes less time to complete a round of therapy because of the improved gait times. It is clearly a major step forward in the quality of rehabilitation."

Secure Tracks is available in any lengths including curved sections and closed configurations that allow more than one patient to use the system at one time, further increasing therapist productivity. After determining the components needed, professional engineers will provide a hospital with a cost quote and schematics for the project.

Secure Tracks is available as a capital purchase or through a multi-year lease-to-own program. For further information, please call 623-266-9204 or email info@securetracks.com.

About Secure Tracks

Founded in 2003 by Les and Pamela Dace, LPD Associates, LLC (d.b.a. Secure Tracks) is a provider of the Secure Tracks patient support system. This innovative solution allows patients to stand completely upright and walk with a natural gait during rehabilitation without fear of falling. Researchers and users of Secure Tracks have reported enhanced patient outcomes, increased operational efficiency, and less physical stress on therapists. Headquartered in Surprise, Arizona, a Secure Tracks system can be purchased or leased directly from the company by calling 623-266-9204. For more information, please visit http://www.securetracks.com.

Device helps patients safely get back on their feet again.

A Surprise company is bringing a medical device to market that's designed to help speed patients' recovery from joint replacement surgeries.

Safe Independence LLC is manufacturing and marketing the Secure Track, a patented device that helps hold people upright and keep them from falling as they walk to rehabilitate their legs after surgery.

Les Dace, the company's owner, said the idea was conceived in 2004 and the device was patented in 2007. Dace, a former CEO of three software companies, had turned to health care consulting when he and his wife, Pamela, designed the Secure Track.

"It dawned on me that there was a way we could address some of these issues," he said.

Over the past year, it has been tested at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West through a partnership with The CORE Institute and its office in that West Valley retirement community.

The device supports patients as they walk with a heavy-duty metal harness hanging from the ceiling. Dace said the study showed it helps patients walk farther and speeds the rehab process.

"Knowing that the patients literally cannot fall, they are walking three times further," he said.

The longer walks along the hospital floor are decreasing patients' recovery time, said Erica Brinker, vice president of strategy and marketing at the institute.

"What we saw in Les' product is an opportunity to improve patient outcomes," she said.

Dace originally pitched the idea to CORE's chairman, Dr. David Jacofsky, who was impressed enough with the results that he's making it part of the institute's recovery plan for lower-leg orthopedic surgeries, Brinker said.

"That really means that we believe in the product and its ability to make a difference to patients," she said.

The Secure Track is manufactured in Chandler by Astrafab. Safe Independence already has secured deals to install a second device at Del Webb and others at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Medical Center in Phoenix and at Coronado Surgical Recovery Suites in Las Vegas.

The cost of the device varies widely, as Dace said each one is essentially custom-tailored to the institution. Safe Independence is leasing the product on two- to five-year plans, after which time the facility would own the device.

In addition to hospitals, Safe Independence plans to target rehabilitation centers and nursing facilities. Dace said the company also is working on a version to help stroke victims.

Safe Independence LLC: www.securetracks.com
Read more: Device helps patients safely get back on their feet again - Austin Business Journal