Customer Finds Success in Using Safe Patient Handling Techniques in Home Health Care Settings

Safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) is one of the top loss control concerns for health care workers as they work to transfer patients without posing harm to themselves. While many may think this is only an issue in hospital or clinic settings, home health care workers also face SPHM challenges related to transfer and mobility needs on a daily basis.

One such United Heartland customer, Home Health United (HHU), has tackled these challenges head on. Through collaboration with HHU’s Ergonomic Program Coordinator, their insurance agent partner and their UH Loss Control Consultant, HHU has found safe transfer success in home settings by employing the following practices:

  • Coordinating SPHM needs with discharge nurses from facilities they are admitting patients from. This pre-planning for transfer and mobility needs has helped to improve safety for employees and patients and it ensures the necessary equipment is in place before patients begin home care.
  • Designating one person, their Ergonomic Program Coordinator, to oversee the SPHM program.
  • Having the Ergonomic Program Coordinator spend time in the field with all nursing staff to train about SPHM practices, expectations and encourage employees to contact him with concerns.  For any identified patient handling concerns, he schedules a home visit with the employee to work through the transfer and mobility needs to find the safest solutions.
  • Thoroughly investigating every patient handling injury to identify root causes and follow through on corrective measures.  As needed, procedure changes are implemented to enhance the SPHM program.

These practices support why United Heartland believes it is important to remind our health care and long-term care customers about the resources and information available from our Health Care and Long-term Care Wellness campaign. It’s also why we believe it is important to recognize policyholders who are implementing best practices to improve the safety and well-being of their care workers. If you have similar exposures, contact your UH loss control representative for assistance and for an evaluation of your current SPHM program.

Home health care is just one area where our Health Care and Long-term Care Wellness Campaign provides valuable information. We also offer resources and information about hazardous drugs and chemicals, injury management programs and slip, trip and fall prevention among several other topics. We’re confident this campaign continues to be your prescription for injury prevention.

If you know of others at your organization who may be interested in receiving updates about our health and wellness campaign, please encourage them to subscribe to our Risk Connection e-blasts here.