Healthcare workers who handle patients have little guidance to help them identify when to use the existing equipment for moving patients. Manual lifting of patients and healthcare worker injuries continue despite equipment installation and training. The purpose of this project was to decrease the number and severity of healthcare worker injuries by implementing a culture of safety for safe patient handling. A multicomponent safe patient handling program was deployed on one inpatient unit at a Midwest academic acute care hospital. There was a 36% decrease in the number of patient handling injuries, a 71% reduction in the number of lost work days, and a 60% reduction in costs in 1 year related to patient handling injuries. The RN Satisfaction Survey question regarding having enough help to lift/move on last shift improved from 41% presurvey to 69% postsurvey.
Linda Stevens, DNP, RN-BC, CPHQ, CSPHP, Director, Nursing Quality & Safety, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison.
Susan Rees, DNP, RN, CPHQ, CENP, Vice President, Development, Nursing and Patient Care Services, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison.
Karen V. Lamb, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
Deborah Dalsing, MS, RN, Nurse Manager, Acute Medical/Progressive Care Unit, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison.
The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests to any commercial company related to this educational activity.