R William Vogel
President & CEO
Healthcare is facing multiple clinical, financial, and social challenges, and many are rooted in mobility issues. As the population ages and life expectancy extends to an average of 79 years in the US, the need for maintaining a safe, independent environment for patients and caregivers grows daily. In addition to an aging population, healthcare staffing is facing its challenges. The average age for a practicing Registered Nurse in the US is 51 years old, and injury for healthcare workers, particularly back injuries, are higher for nurses than any other profession. The need for simple, innovative solutions to support patient care represents not only a clinical and safety imperative but a matter of enhanced independence and dignity for our patients.
Although mobility assistance devices such as canes and wheelchairs have been part of the mobility milieu for over one hundred years, modern mobility technology is relatively new. Ceiling lift technology grew from the industry’s mechanical and automotive side and has become highly customized, particularly in the last 30 or so years. Tollos was initiated as a Canadian manufacturing company with corporate headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland. The company grew out of a strong engineering heritage focused on durability and reliability. “We were the first company to manufacture a ceiling lift that could lift a patient in excess of one thousand pounds with a single powerful motor and single strap,” says R William Vogel, President, and CEO at Tollos, Inc. That same commitment to serving the entire portfolio of patient populations drove the development of a mobile lift to support the bariatric patient up to 1200 pounds.
Tollos helped create a safer, healthier future by providing a broad portfolio of mobility equipment to clinicians and patients. As “The Clinical Partner of Choice,” Tollos prides itself on a comprehensive portfolio designed to support clinicians’ needs. Every installation is customized to meet the needs of the clinical environment within the facility. Understanding the clinical use model and practice patterns and the patient populations served by a particular unit is key. Tollos works diligently to provide the most clinically flexible solution for the customers. Tollos
pioneered the “any patient, any room” concept with two innovations. “We can configure a solution that allows the clinician to place a patient of any size in any room up to over one thousand pounds using a single motor and strap. Most competitors focus on lower weights or require two motors. We also support the entire patient population when it comes to mobile lifts,” adds William. “Our focus on complimentary supplies and accessories is also keenly focused on safety and clinical efficiency. As infection control is more important than ever, we offer single patient use as well as reusable slings.” All are manufactured to the highest standards and align closely with the FDA recommendation that only slings authorized by the lift manufacturer be used with safe patient handling equipment.
Tollos works across an extremely broad spectrum of accounts, supporting customers’ needs from a single physical therapy gym or walking track to a whole house implementation of a newly built university hospital. Each installation is unique and highly dependent on the environment. According to William, new construction can be challenging as contractors and subs are anxious to stage their part of the project most effectively in sequence. Existing or older buildings can represent any number of surprises as the infrastructure to support a ceiling lift goes into place. As with any new introduction of equipment, the clinicians move through an adoption phase. “Once this occurs, the nursing staff tends to become very dependent on the lifts. They quickly learn that they can move the patients more quickly, easily, and safely. The dignity element also quickly comes into play,” he explains. “A bariatric patient that can be moved with a lift and one or two caregivers versus organizing five or six personnel is an exponentially more positive experience for the patient.” William further elucidates that the nursing staff’s safety is also paramount, and many states and nursing unions have put regulations in place, limiting the amount that nurses are expected to lift safely. “In summary, we impact the safety, dignity, and efficiency aspects of care.”
Tollos is committed to a platform approach to strategy. All elements of their strategy and design are rooted in focus on clinical flexibility and investment protection. They have a world-class ceiling and mobile lift portfolio that supports the care of patients of all shapes and sizes. The future builds on this foundation to add truly meaningful clinical data that will help drive improved outcomes for patients, whether the compromise in their mobility is short term or more permanent.