By Carlos Pineda, DOR, Southland Care Center, Norwalk, CA

The I-tool is the first “6th vital sign 3-in-1 tool.” Due to the ongoing pandemic, which requires social distancing and isolation, our goal was to bring the evidence-based practice into the patient’s room. Validated standardized tests can be utilized as part of the treatment strategy at the same time. The 3-in-1 tool covers the full spectrum of the patient’s functional skills from low functioning to high. It can be utilized to conduct three standardized tests:

1. The “seated step test,” a low-level aerobic test for frail individuals or those who cannot stand or walk
2. The “2-minute step test,” an assessment of aerobic capacity for those who have concern with walking space
3. “Gait Speed,” or the 6th vital sign, which predicts the patient’s health status including hospitalization, functional decline and even the discharge location

The tool is made of PVC pipes that are carefully measured and fitted to allow for quick assembly and disassembly. The kit’s quick setup process support productivity and encourages therapists to consistently integrate standardized tests. Each part is color-coded, which can be completed in 30-40 seconds.

The attached photos show all of the following pieces.
Needed supplies (all under $50)
4 – PVC pipes ½ x 10
4 – Cross PVC ½
8 – PVC tee ½
1- PVC coupling ½
2- PVC elbows ½
1 – container of PVC glue
3 – different spray paint colors

Now that you have seen the photos and supply list, are you intrigued as to how this all works? The team at Southland put together a live video on how to assemble and use the tool. Contact Carlos Pineda ( for more information.