UH Health and Wellness Campaign: Importance of Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Programs Gets National Attention
The benefits of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) garnered national attention recently when National Public Radio published a four-part series that looked at the problem of nurses being injured on the job. Elements of the series included:
- An examination of how many hospitals fail to protect their nursing staff from transfer-related injuries resulting in nurses often having to leave their careers at young ages.
- How long-standing transfer techniques that don’t include the use of equipment can expose nurses’ spines to dangerous forces.
- The reluctance of some hospitals to view the implementation of SPHM training and equipment as a top priority.
- How Veterans Affairs hospitals’ decision to completely overhaul all of their facilities to allow for SPHM equipment in every room has resulted in a significant decline in transfer injuries and transfer injury-related costs
These stories highlight what United Heartland’s loss control experts have been practicing for years – SPHM equipment and training play an important role in helping to reduce transfer injuries and injury-related costs in health care and long-term care settings. Since we launched our SPHM program nearly a decade ago, customers have seen a more than 24% reduction in claims frequency per dollar of payroll — a figure that is statistically significant and extremely impactful.
This is why we’re kicking off our 2015 Health Care and Wellness campaign with a focus on our SPHM resources. We encourage you to visit our SPHM page often and share it with others in your organization to review the resources we’ve provided on these programs, including:
- New SPHM standard operating procedure fliers that can be used to train employees
- How United Heartland can improve your SPHM program
- The importance of creating transfer observation systems
- How to accurately assess transfer equipment needs
- Understanding the American Nurses Association’s SPHM standards
- How to overcome resistance and barriers to implementation of SPHM programs
- Information on UH’s Risk Connection and other helpful web resources on this topic
- Informative posters that demonstrate proper techniques for gait belt transfers, mechanical lifts, friction reducing devices and lateral transfers.
Individuals working in child care, social service or school settings also need to be mindful of how they safely handle the children entrusted to their care. Thus, we’ve provided specific tips for child care workers and online training resources available for school and health care customers.
Links to additional materials related to other risks and exposures in health care and long-term care settings can be found here. We’re confident our health and long-term care campaign is your prescription for injury prevention.
To subscribe to Risk Connection, our monthly e-blast that provides customers additional tools and news to keep their employees safer on the job, click here.
As always, please contact your loss control representative with questions, or call us at 1-800-258-2667.