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Sit–Stand Powered Mechanical Lifts in Long-Term Care and Resident Quality Indicators

Gucer, Patricia W. PhD; Gaitens, Joanna RN, PhD; Oliver, Marc RN, MPH; McDiarmid, Melissa A. MD, MPH, DABT

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 1 - p 36–44
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182749c35
Original Articles

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.

From the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Address correspondence to: Patricia W. Gucer, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, University Square Bldg, 11 S Paca St, 2nd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201 (

This study was funded by the Commonwealth Fund.

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine