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Hill-Rom® Clinical Resource Center

Helping you implement evidence-based programs with connected technologies

Hill-Rom® Clinical Resource Center

Safe Patient Handling



  • Is your facility equipped for safe patient handling?
    Conti MT, et al. | Nursing Management | 2011

    Caregiver injuries are common and costly. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that nurses and healthcare professionals are at increassed risk for nonfatal occupational injuries due to patient lifting and handling. Conti and Johnsen discuss the connection between having a facility equipped for safe patient handling and nurse injuries.

  • Ergonomics: Safe Patient Handling and Mobility
    Hallmark B, et al. | The Nursing Clinics of North America | 2015

    In 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 20,000 registered nurses suffered nonfatal work-related injuries involving days away from work while more than 37,000 nursing assistants suffered the same. As the need to create a culture of safety for patients and caregivers becomes more and more critical, this article investigates the risks associated with patient handling and mobility as well as evidence-based practices to reduce injury. 

  • Fall prevention and bathroom safety in the epilepsy monitoring unit
    Spritzer SD, et al. | Epilepsy & Behavior | 2015

    Falls are one of the most common adverse events in the epilepsy monitoring unit, however, little is known regarding effectiveness of specific interventions due to variation in protocols and procedures between institutions. Over the course of 12 years, Mayo Clinic Arizona initiated several interventions to decrease falls and improve patient and caregiver safety resulting in a trend of decreasing fall frequency. However, no specific intervention could be identified as having a high impact on fall rates until the MasterVest™ ceiling lift system was put in place for use in all EMU patients when out of bed. Over 15 months after adopting the ceiling lift system, no falls occurred; preventing an expected 2.13 falls a year.

  • Effects of a National Safe Patient Handling Program on Nursing Injury Incidence Rates
    Powell-Cope G, et al. | Journal of Nursing Administration | 2014

    In this 3-year longitudinal study conducted at the Veterans Health Administration, researchers looked to identify which components of a system-wide safe patient handling program reduced musculoskeletal injury due to patient handling among nurses. Results concluded that risk factors such as bed days of care, facility complexity level, and baseline MSI incidence rate, were significantly associated with MSI incidence rates and explained 21% of its variation. Safe Patient Handling including deployment of ceiling lifts, peer leader effectiveness, competency in SPH equipment, facility coordinator link with safety committee, and peer leader training, accounted for an additional 23% of the total variation.

  • Current Topics in Safe Patient Handling
    American Nurse Today | 2014

    Several national experts share their perspectives and best practices to align people, process and technology in support of safe patient handling and mobility program development. This peer reviewed publication was supported by an educational grant from Hill-Rom and appeared in American Nurse Today September 2014.

  • Intervention Strategies to Reduce Musculoskeletal Injuries Associated with Handling Patients: A Systematic Review
    Hignett S | Occupational & Environmental Medicine | 2003

    This systematic review provides a overview of the clinical literature on safe patient handling  intervention strategies through 2001.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Interventions to Reduce Musculoskeletal Symptoms in the Health Care Sector
    Tullar JM | Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation | 2010

    This systematic review provides an overview of the state of the science on occupational safety and health derived from safe patient handling interventions.

  • Lumbar Spine Forces During Manoeuvring of Ceiling-based and Floor-based Patient Transfer Devices
    Marras WS, et al. | Ergonomics | 2009

    This article reviews an ergonomically-based study of the physical loads placed on the lumbar spine of caregivers during the operation of floor-based and ceiling-based patient lifts. Ten subjects were studied in a biodynamic laboratory. Using biometric testing, the researchers found that the forces associated with operating a floor or ceiling mechanical lift were significantly reduced when compared to manually lifting of a patient. Further, the authors found that ceiling lifts were preferable to floor lifts due to the amount of anterior/posterior shear forces.

  • Special Supplement to American Nurse Today – Best Practices for Falls Reduction: A Practical Guide
    American Nurse Today | 2011

    This special supplement to American Nurse Today contains a collection of articles authored by clinicians and executives to enhance the efforts of Fall Prevention programs to create fall-safe environments.

  • The Three-year Economic Benefits of a Ceiling Lift Intervention Aimed to Reduce Healthcare Worker Injuries
    Chhokar R, et al. | Applied Ergonomics | 2005

    This article is a review of a resident lifting program that was implemented in an extended care facility. The facility installed ceiling lift systems for 125 beds and three tubs. A review of injury reports was conducted for a three year period prior to implementation and for three years post-implementation. Injuries were categorized according to the task being performed at the time of injury. Overall patient handling injuries decreased from 65 to 47, however lifting and transferring injury claims decreased from 30 to 10. Estimations were calculated for the cost savings from injury avoidance amounted to $1,257,605.

  • When Is It Safe to Manually Lift a Patient?
    Waters TR | American Journal of Nursing | 2007

    This article describes the revised NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) tool for calculating the recommended weight limit for manual lifting. In general, NIOSH recommends a 35-pound limit for patient handling tasks. Assisting devices should be used when weights to be lifted exceed 35 pounds.

  • Fall and Injury Prevention
    Currie L, et al. | Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses | 2008

    This chapter of the handbook presents evidence-based guidelines for falls and injury prevention in the elderly.

  • Cost-Effectiveness of a Day Hospital Falls Prevention Programme for Screened Community-Dwelling Older People at High Risk of Falls
    Irving L, et al. | Age and Ageing | 2010

    This study evaluated the economic impact of a multidisciplinary falls prevention program on patients aged ≥70. Falls were self-reported and collected in 12 monthly diaries. Mean falls rates were 2.07 per person/year in the intervention arm and 2.24 per person/year in the control arm. There was a mean incremental cost reduction of 3,320 GBP per fall averted.

  • Cost Effectiveness of a Multifaceted Program for Safe Patient Handling
    Siddharthan K, et al. | Advances in Patient Safety: From Research to Implementation | 2005

    This article reviews a study that was completed at 23 high-risk VHA units that implemented a safe patient handling program. The units served as their own historical controls by comparing post-implementation data to the previous year's same nine-month period. 537 staff members were involved in the study from 19 nursing homes and 4 spinal cord injury units. A cost-benefit analysis was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. After taking account of the capital costs associated with the purchase of the equipment, the program resulted in an estimated cost savings of $155,719 for the nine-month period. Additionally, a statistically significant reduction in caregiver injuries occurred, resulting in a decrease in lost work days and worker's compensation costs.

  • An Evaluation of a "Best Practices" Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program in Nursing Homes
    Collins JW, et al. | Injury Prevention | 2004

    This article examines interventions in safe patient handling in nursing homes and provides best practices with measurable results.

  • Long-term Efficacy of an Ergonomics Program that Includes Patient-handling Devices on Reducing Musculoskeletal Injuries to Nursing Personnel
    Garg A, et al. | Human Factors | 2012

    This articles shows that patient handling devices and safe patient handling programs may decrease patient handling injuries by as much as 59% across long term care and critical care facilities. Decreases in injuries translated into a 90% reduction in workers compensation costs in this study.

  • Nurses' Presenteeism and Its Effects on Self-Reported Quality of Care and Costs
    Letvak SA, et al. | American Journal of Nursing | 2013

    This articles describes the effect nurses presenteeism has on the quality and cost of care. It specifically looks at its impact on medication errors and patient falls.  The authors found that for every point in self reported presenteeism there was an 18% increased likelihood in patient falls. (p = 0.004).  The costs of presenteeism on patient falls and medication errors combined is estimated nationally at $13 billion.

  • Nursing Injury Rates and Negative Patient Outcomes - Connecting the Dots
    Charney W, et al. | AAOHN Journal | 2007

    This article discusses the connection between nursing injury rates and nursing staff shortages. The article concludes that staff shortages are scientifically linked to negative patient outcomes due to less nursing time at bedside.

  • Role of Bed Design and Head-of-Bed Articulation on Patient Migration
    Davis K, et al | Journal of Nursing Care Quality | 2015

    Repositioning patients in bed puts both patients and caregivers at risk.  Patients experience shear and friction which are risk factors for pressure ulcers, while caregivers who are repositioning patients are at risk for lower back injuries.  This study examined the influence of hospital bed design on patient migration. Over 180 trials, Bed A (Hill-Rom® Progressa® bed system) showed 85-86% (p< 0.001) less patient migration and 34% less torso compression compared to current alternatives.  Three in four subjects preferred the Hill-Rom® Progressa® bed system. The author concludes that optimal bed design should reduce patient migration which may lead to clinically significant reductions in health risks to patients and caregivers.

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