Confident Voices in Healthcare | Part 3: What Was Your Path in Making ERMA a Reality?

Interview with Jean Snyder, DNAP, CRNA who took charge of patient safety with development of ERMA (Error Reduction and Mitigation Aide)

The following is the third and final in a three-part series about inventor Jean Snyder, DNAP, CRNA, who shares about how she was inspired to take action to improve safety in high risk areas such as the OR, ED, and ICU. She tells us why her Error Reduction and Mitigation Aide is important and details her path for making her idea a reality while giving advice to others who would like to  innovate too. She is a Virginia nurse who is working with The Innovation Institute in Southern California to develop and distribute her invention.  Part 1: Pursuing the ERMA Solution, Part 2: Why is ERMA So Important?

What was your path for making ERMA a reality? 

In terms of getting Error Reduction and Mitigation Aide (ERMA) made, I was able to make a prototype but did not have the engineering expertise to refine it. I did not have the resources needed to patent. The Innovation Institute, a national health care incubator that works with the health system I work for provided this help.

We are facing the marketing challenge now. It is hard to encourage change in medicine. It is hard for practitioners to admit we make mistakes. The widespread adoption of ERMA would require hospital systems to place patient safety foremost and make the ethical choice to replace standard needle disposal boxes with ERMA. The health care industry must place safety before profit.

Despite the challenges, ERMA has been an amazing personal journey. ERMA led me to pursue my doctorate in nurse anesthesia at VCU. I have been fortunate to place my “brainchild” and my passion with an incredible group of individuals at The Innovation Institute. They have allowed me to be an integral part of the innovation process. In turn, I have learned that I have the heart and mind of an inventor. I have given them two more innovations with plenty more simmering on my backburner. More…