Engendering effective engagement

Platform provides a means for recognizing and empowering nurses

Posted on Mar 29, 2018 :: Small Business Spotlight
Jessica Thiel
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Research shows nurses are less healthy than the typical American, experiencing 2.8 times more stress, getting 10 percent less sleep, and having a 30 percent less nutritious diet and a 5 percent higher body mass index. How’s that for irony?

The statistics are bad news not just for nurses but also their patients and health care systems. They’re also, in part, what drove April Hansen, a veteran nurse, to develop a mobile platform aimed at fostering stronger engagement in the profession.

In her years working as a nurse and in nurse leadership, Hansen observed a trend of health care systems experiencing attrition problems, which prove costly. This led her to research factors that help keep people in their jobs, and she used this to create OrendX, a tool designed to foster employee engagement and connect and increase loyalty within health care organizations.

“Really, the future of the health of the people in this country depends on strong nursing care,” Hansen says.

Inspired by the Iroquois word orenda, which means harnessing the power of the human spirit to influence fate, OrendX is built on the philosophy that engagement in the workplace leads to better performance. It leverages existing nursing practices such as rounding — in which nurses check in with patients at set intervals — and uses them as a vehicle for recognition.

The tools include a social element that allows for easy and widespread dissemination of information and feedback, allowing others to like and comment, creating a means for collaboration and teamwork.

Hansen, who’s based in Marinette and planning to occupy co-working space in Green Bay, participated in both the Rise of the Rest pitch competition in Green Bay and the inaugural cohort of gBETA Northeast Wisconsin. She says that experience helped her connect with experts and other entrepreneurs.

Jill Enos, managing director of N.E.W. Venture Foundry, has advised and worked with Hansen for the past couple years as well as providing her a small amount of seed funding. She has great hopes for OrendX and praises Hansen’s ability to leverage her past experiences to create synergies.

“I’m just a big fan of her approach and the way she tackles new and different challenges and can go over, around and through almost any hurdle that comes her way,” she says.