SHI Blog

Think. Create. Innovate.

And the Winner is…

On January 15, 2019, Spectrum Health Innovations won at the MTRAC competition and was awarded $150,000 over a 12-month period to complete the design and engineering work of a production representative device, and perform a qualitative study at Spectrum Health.

Kirk Rykse supervisor, patient transport, Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital
Kirk Rykse supervisor, patient transport, Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital

The Patient Auto Slider is made to perform lateral patient transfers specifically, under the operation of just one clinician, without having to exert any force, or manipulate patients in any way. Lateral patient transfers lead to injuries, the second biggest cause of healthcare staff injuries, and require multiple staff members to complete. While there are low cost, simple solutions, such as slider sheets, transfer boards, these products still require physical effort on behalf of staff, and they may still require several team members to move the patient. Additionally, there are more robust, expensive solutions like Hoyer and ceiling lifts that do multiple types of transfers, however these products are cost prohibitive for some healthcare systems and have been known to be patient dissatisfies.

The Auto Slider was created from an idea submitted by Kirk Rykse to help improve the transfer process for patents and employees.

Read more about the Auto Slider in this year’s Annual Impact Report.

If you would like to contribute and submit an idea, contact us at or by calling 1-IDEA 616.391.4332.