International Safe Patient Handling & Mobility Awareness Month
April is International Safe Patient Handling & Mobility Awareness month – a time to focus on how to prevent employee overexertion injuries.
Did you know that Texas State law requires staff to perform a risk analysis before lifting, moving, repositioning, and transferring patients in non-emergent situations? Most importantly, we do not want you to be injured!
In an effort to decrease these types of injuries, the Employee/Staff Overexertion Committee developed an evidence-based Patient Handling Risk Assessment and implemented it last fall. The work of this committee and all of you who are already utilizing the tool has worked! We have seen a significant reduction in the number and severity of employee injuries. Thanks for keeping you and your teammates safe. If this tool is new to you, it can be found toward the bottom of the Storyboard screen in Epic. This score can be seen by nursing services, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and radiology. A simple click on the score sends staff to the Safe Patient Handling* site on CookNet where staff can see suggested equipment to use. (*Note: you must be connected to the network to access this page.)
We have air assist mattresses to help transfer patients from one surface to another, fancy slide sheets (not your mother’s old draw sheet) to help reduce friction when repositioning and moving patients, gait belts for patients who may be a little unsteady on their feet, patient lifts, and sit-to-stand equipment. The Safe Patient Handling site also contains quick links to videos and guides on how to use the equipment. It’s a one-stop shop for safe patient handling.
Using the right techniques and equipment also helps to reduce the risk of patient injuries by reducing friction and providing stability during transfers so our patients have fewer falls, skin tears, and pressure ulcers.