Safe Patient Handling in Health Care

April 2015  |  Oregon OSHA

Don’t become a back injury statistic. This video is intended to provide current information about ergonomics and safety issues related to patient handling and care tasks. The field of ergonomics is dynamic, and new information is constantly being developed.

This was made possible with the help of a grant from Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer & Business Services, and developed by Oregon Nurses Association, Bay Area Hospital, and The University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center.

There’s accompanying print material available for free on the Oregon OSHA website. Applied Ergonomics for Nurses and Health Care Workers and Patient Orientation – A Guide for Instructors.

NPR Looks at Injured Nurses

March 2015  |  National Public Broadcasting

Last month NPR published a series describing their investigations of nurse injuries in medical facilities. Their discoveries proved a central point: There is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to Safe Patient Handling and the use of proper training and equipment. That’s a message Wy’East has been trying to spread for the last 25 years. Caregiver health is just as important as patient health, and high compliance with the use of our Safe Patient Handling equipment will truly make a measurable difference.

To read/listen to the full series, click here.

Affects of Laundering on the Coefficient of Friction

January 2014 | White Paper

In a hospital or any type of care facility it is very difficult to move or reposition a patient in a bed. The reason for this is that there is a high amount of friction between a patient and a mattress. The higher the friction, the more force it takes a caregiver to move the patient. To lower the friction, it is common practice to use a friction reducing device (FRD) under the patient. FRDs have a low coefficient of friction (COF). COF is a calculated constant defined as the force required to move two sliding surfaces over each other, divided by the force holding them together.

When reusable FRDs are new and in an unwashed condition, their COF is very low which is favorable. But, after laundry the COF increases and the force required to move a patient increases because the silicone is depleted progressively with each washing and drying cycle. Information about the amount of increase in COF with each washing cycle is not known. Manufacturers of reusable FRDs do not discuss this issue in their literature and this is concerning because the main purpose of a FRD is to reduce friction.

Download the entire white paper here.

Lift Teams – A one-year study: Another success story in an acute-care hospital

Feb./March 2001 | Journal of Healthcare Safety, Compliance & Infection Control

Abstract: Results of a one-year study in an acute-care tertiary hospital to test the viability of using lift teams to reduce workers’ compensation claims due to lifting patients. Injuries during the study period were reduced from 22 lost-time injuries to six. Days lost were reduced from 744 to zero, and workers’ compensation costs were reduced from $224,000 (hard costs) in the prior year to $14,000 during the study year.

Download the entire article here.

Reducing back injury in nursing: A case study using mechanical equipment and a hospital transport team as a lift team

March 2000 | Journal of Healthcare Safety, Compliance & Infection Control
Abstract: Results of a one-year study to evaluate a method to reduce back injury in nursing in an acute-care facility. The method used a pre-existing transport team as a lift team and added the proper amount of mechanical patient-lifting equipment. The heath care facility cross-trained a transport team to become the designated patient lifters. Nurses were instructed by policy to not lift patients (manual lifting was forbidden). Two days of modified duty were reported during the study year for a total compensable injury cost of $336, compared with $23,000 and $63,000 in the two years prior to the study.

Download the entire article here.

Lift team intervention: A six-year picture

February 2000 | Journal of Healthcare Safety, Compliance & Infection Control
Abstract: A six-year review of the results of the lift team model as an injury management solution. The study concludes that lift team intervention has reduced the frequency and severity of nursing injuries that result from patient handling. Lift team intervention is believed to have improved nursing morale and patient satisfaction. Lift team intervention programs do prevent work-related injuries and should be considered by patient care institutions.

Download the entire article here.

Implementation of a Lift Team

November 1998 | Journal of Healthcare Safety, Compliance & Infection Control
Abstract: Conclusions reached by a medical center task force that studied the problem of occupational back injuries caused by patient lifting. The task force recommended implementation of a lift team, developed a business plan for presenting their findings to administrative sponsors, and performed a cost/benefit analysis of implementing the lift team. The analysis found that implementation would reduce cost associated with lost work days by 85%. Cost savings to operations the first year of implementation was projected to be $83,584.

Download the entire article here.