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Reducing Intensive Care Unit Staff Musculoskeletal Injuries With Implementation of a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Program

Ann Adamczyk, Mary, MSA, RN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000205
Original Articles

The purpose of this safety initiative was to reduce work-related injuries through the implementation of a safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) program in a medical intensive care unit. An SPHM program was implemented on a critical care medicine unit in February of 2017. Nursing and assistive personnel completed education via hands-on and online educational modules regarding SPHM equipment and techniques and an SPHM policy. All staff were expected to follow SPHM practices. Critical care medicine unit nursing leadership and unit-based SPHM peer coaches rounded to ensure staff compliance with the program. A 1-year evaluation demonstrated a reduction of 86% in work-related injuries. In 2016, there were 7 injuries while in 2017, only 1 injury occurred. Lost and restricted days away from work were reduced by 54% or from a total of 112 days in 2016 to 52 days in 2017. The implementation of an SPHM program in a medical intensive care unit appears to be highly effective at reducing health care worker injuries. More research is needed to identify the best and most effective ways to provide care to our most critical patients. Positive behaviors from the staff regarding the SPHM program have helped reduce injuries and lost workdays.

Critical Care Medicine Unit, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor.

Correspondence: Mary Ann Adamczyk, MSA, RN, Critical Care Medicine Unit, Michigan Medicine, UH 6D 6713, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (

Many thanks to all of the SPH committee members and our nursing lead for the institution, Barbara Wetula. The CCMU staff must also be applauded for their commitment to incorporating SPH practices into their everyday workflow. Finally, a personal thank you to Sharon Dickinson, clinical nurse specialist, and Jennifer Dammeyer, clinical nurse consultant, for their support in helping to write this article.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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