Objective: To determine associations between long-term care powered mechanical lift (PML) availability and mobility-related resident outcomes.
Methods: Long-term care directors of nursing (N = 271) nationwide gave facility information on the PML availability and the lifting policy to which we linked data on mobility-related resident outcomes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Minimum Data Set Quality Indicators.
Results: Four of six Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services–derived resident indicators improved with the PML number but were maximal for the sit–stand lift use. In facilities with the fewest lifts, 16% of residents had pressure ulcers and 4% were bedfast. In facilities with the maximum number of lifts, only 10% had pressure ulcers (P = 0.000) and 2% were bedfast (P = 0.002). Although falls were more frequent with more lift use, this risk was blunted by a comprehensive safe lift program.
Conclusion: The PML availability is associated with benefits to resident outcomes, and accompanying risks are mitigated by safe lift policies.