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Integrating a Standardized Mobility Program and Safe Patient Handling

Dickinson, Sharon, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, ANP, CCRN; Taylor, Sarah, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC; Anton, Paula, MS, RN, CRRN, ACNS-BC

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000202
Original Articles

Early, routine mobilization of critically ill patients is safe and reduces hospital length of stay, shortens the duration of mechanical ventilation, and improves muscle strength and functional independence. At the University of Michigan, we have turned the tides by creating a structured process to get our patients moving while keeping them and our staff safe through the use of a standardized mobility protocol that incorporates the components of safe patient handling. Our protocol is simple and can easily be adapted for all patient populations by simply modifying some of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The protocol incorporates safe patient handling and mobility preassessment guidelines, mobility standards, equipment guidelines, and documentation tools. The activities are grounded in the evidence and well thought out to prevent complications, promote mobilization, and prevent patient and staff injuries. This article will discuss a how a tertiary care facility incorporated a safe patient-handling initiative into an existing mobility program and operationalized it across a health care system to keep our patients and staff safe.

Surgical Intensive Care Unit/Rapid Response Team (Ms Dickinson), Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit (Ms Taylor), and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound and Ostomy Team (Ms Anton), University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor.

Correspondence: Sharon Dickinson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, ANP, CCRN, University of Michigan Surgical Intensive Care/Rapid Response, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Centers, Box 0076, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48176 ( or Sarah Taylor, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, University of Michigan Trauma/Burn Intensive Care Unit, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Centers, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48176 ( or Paula Anton, MS, RN, CRRN, ACNS-BC, University of Michigan Rehabilitation Unit, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Centers, Box 5088, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48176 (

Thank you to the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Committee and all the Staff at the University of Michigan for their commitment to always provide safe and effective mobility.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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