A New Model for Successful Safe Patient Handling Programs

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: a John VaughanJeffery DriverEdward HallbEric Race

Abstract: The transport, transfer, adjustment, and general handling of hospital patients accounts for one of the most significant injury risks for healthcare workers. This is true for the general population of patients and even more so for bariatric patients. Safe Patient Handling Programs are increasingly becoming the norm for hospitals and long term care facilities. The use of lifting, transferring, and mobilizing equipment is mandated in many states in order to protect both the healthcare workers and the patients from injury due to manual lifting.The experience with such programs for many healthcare facilities presents a cautionary tale of great promise of benefit and very difficult delivery of same. This is a major culture change for nurses and other healthcare employees. The scenario goes something like this: Everyone (or nearly everyone) is delighted with the idea and seems eager to move forward with it. Equipment is purchased and everyone is trained to some extent on how to use it. The news of the program is presented to the public with ribbon cutting or similar fanfare. Soon thereafter it becomes clear that there were several things that were not considered such as laundry for the slings, who repairs the lifts, where IS the lift, where are the repo sheets. These oversights are soon followed by, “it takes too long”, “this isn’t working”, “I liked the old way”, and so on.Preventing this decline in the program requires dedicated “champions”. They must be able to assist other personnel with patient handling tasks, have a thorough working knowledge of all the lift equipment, and can provide the training or retraining so necessary as care givers encounter issues that were not covered in the first round of training. At Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital we’re moving to the “lift coach” model to provide these things. This presentation describes the model and offers data on our experience over the past year. We believe this to be the best and most workable solution for culture change and successful Safe Patient Handling Program implementation. The presentation includes a unique Return On Investment calculation that we believe will be of great interest.

Keywords: Safe Patient Handling, Bariatric Patients, Lift Coach Model

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100538

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