Team Tackles Safe Patient Handling Challenges – Health Care

September 2, 2016

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 daily SPHM challenges related to transfer and mobility needs.

One 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 improve safety for employees and patients and 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 provide training on SPHM practices and 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.

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