Striking a Balance
Blue Chip's new Tradewind seeks to blend affordability, dependability and quality care.
- By David Kopf
- Dec 01, 2012
The demand for providers to source lower-cost support surfaces has been tough to ignore. HMEs facing increasing cuts to their funding are on a quest for mattresses that bridge the ever-widening gap between care and commerce, and the solutions aren’t always easy to find.
That is exactly why Blue Chip Medical Products Inc. has been patiently developing the Tradewind, a series of Group 2 support surfaces and pumps that meet providers’ price point demands, while also meeting tough quality standards that will ensure dependability and care quality. For Blue Chip CEO Ron Resnick, that balancing act is an absolute must.
Either the Tradewind met his exacting quality standards, or it wouldn’t get released, Resnick says. And Resnick is a stickler to say the least. As someone who could at one time be considered bariatric, he says he feels a considerable affinity to those patients, and regardless of funding cuts to providers, he wants to make sure his company’s products fit their needs.
“The home healthcare environment has done a really good job and reduced significant costs,” Resnick says. “But you can’t get a gallon in a quart container, and it’s up to us to take care of those patients. So the patient suffers when providers are buying not on need, but on a code to fit a price, and that is just not right — at all.”
Moreover, that quality needs to foster the kind of dependability that providers can trust so that they don’t have to continually service or replace units. Resnick says he has units that have been in the field for more than a decade, and he wants to ensure his products’ reputation for durability continues.
Those care and quality demands dictated the development of Blue Chip’s new Tradewind mattress series.
The Tradewind employs 17 individual low air loss cells that are 8 in. deep to provide pressure redistribution. Air holes in the sacral and torso areas provide ventilation that minimizes skin maceration by reducing moisture under the patient.
A multi-directional stretch cover is loose fitting enough to ensure that the Tradewind conforms to the patient. That stretch cover uses a low-shear, anti-microbial, fluid-resistant fabric that transfers moisture away from the patient’s skin. And, of course, it is washable.
The Tradewind is designed to fit all standard hospital beds, and comes in three versions: the 1,000, the 3,000 and the ATS. The 1,000 and 3,000 measure 35 in., with the 3,000 being able to support patients weighing up to 350 lbs. The Tradewind ATS comes in 42 in. and 48 in. bariatric sizes and supports patients weighing up to 750 lbs.
In terms of safety, the Tradewind meets California Technical Bulletin No. 117 for fire retardance, and Blue Chip offers an optional fire barrier to meet stringent fire safety requirements. Fire evacuation handles come standard on all models, as well. Also, a twist of the CPR valve can quickly release all the air in the mattress and deflate the Tradewind mattress in cases of medical emergencies. Adjustable anchor straps securely hold the Tradewind mattress to the bed frame, and a cover that integrates optional padded side rails is also available.
Like the mattresses, there are three dual-mode pumps available. Each feature alternating pressure and static pressure. The alternating pressure mode provides reactive hyperemia and redistributes pressure below 32mmHG. The Static modem provides low air loss with constant pressure so that nursing can provide patient care.
The 1,000 is a mechanical pump with a manual control dial to adjust firmness and supports patients up to 350 lbs. The 3,000 is a digital pump that also supports patients up to 350 lbs. The ATS is a digital pump that supports patients up to 750 lbs. All the pumps feature quiet operation, a low pressure alert, locking transport device, heavy duty hanger brackets and easy access filters. The 3,000 also features an automatic alarm, and the ATS features a low pressure alert, auto alarm, an auto firm feature, lock-out and variable time cycle.
In terms of warranty, Blue Chip offers a one-year limited warranty for the power control unit, a one-year limited warranty on the mattress, and a six-month limited warranty on the cover. Where funding is concerned, the Tradewind meets Group 2 support surface requirements for Medicare code E0277.
Blue Chip Medical Products Inc.
This article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.