A 5-Category Classification System for the Design and Planning of Healthcare Facilities
Authors: Elly M. Waaijer a, Hanneke J.J. Knibbe b
Abstract: In order to implement programs to prevent back pain in caregivers, assessment of the degree of passivity and mobility of patients is imperative. After all, the load in health care ergonomics is often the patient. The degree of cooperation or resistance determines the load on the back for the caregivers and the necessity of the use of lifting devices like patient lifters or sliding sheets. It also has its impact on the choice of equipment to carry out daily hygienic care. These assessments must be done in both a practical and a reliable way. One of the major problems encountered in health care during the process of implementing ergonomic changes is the lack of space. There is often not enough space to work with larger equipment like patient lifters and shower chairs or other medical devices necessary in a preventive program. This leads to undesirable extra physical load for caregivers. The Mobility Gallery, a validated 5-category classification system, is now used to define in a structured manner the existing and future population of a healthcare facility and supports the planning and space design. Based on the assessment of mobility levels, the equipment needed can be defined. All transfers and care activities are shown in a bird’s eye view image and are translated into functional areas. This tools will encourage architects to build in the future in such a way that one of the corner stones of a safe patient handling program, sufficient space, is guaranteed.
Keywords: Ergonomics, Prevention, Back pain, Patient assessment, Space requirements in healthcare, Health design
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