Safer Patient Handling is Safer for Caregivers, Too

Thanks for the Lift!

EHOB stepped up to the
challenge with innovative tools to shoulder some of the load.

Safely turning and repositioning immobile patients is crucial for pressure injury prevention. But evidence suggests that patient handling is also a root cause for musculoskeletal disorders among caregivers.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the healthcare industry tipping the charts on workplace injuries. In 2018, nearly 600,000 injuries/illnesses were reported. That’s 1 in 5 healthcare workers. And, while jeopardizing a patient’s quality of care is not a viable option, harming the caregivers in the process isn’t either.

How do we continue providing the best patient care while still protecting our caregivers?

In a typical 8-hour shift a nurse can lift over 2000pounds in cumulative weight—a staggering figure. The overexertion caused by lifting, bending, and reaching has taken its toll on an already-weary workforce. As hospitalizations increase due to spikes in COVID-19, healthcare professionals are faced with even larger populations of immobile patients. In addition, wound care teams are tasked with protecting patients’ skin. It’s a daunting task, but the healthcare industry and those that rely on it can’t afford to loss clinicians to injury, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic.

Adopting Innovative Products

If healthcare is anything, it is resilient. And the industry has stepped up to the challenge with innovative tools to shoulder some of the load. Products are available to help with lifting, boosting, and repositioning. Embracing these tools, however, is the key.

Certain studies have shown that while safe patient handling products are available, they aren’t regularly being used. Although some factors such as time constraints can play into the non-use, the investment of time in product education is also a culprit. The burden of proof rests with the industry.

At EHOB, we believe now is the time to explore alternatives in safe patient handling. And now is the time to recognize that in order to protect the patient well, we must also protect the caregiver.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020748918302657

https://www.osha.gov/healthcare

https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/2-point-8-million-nonfatal-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-occurred-in-2018.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/safepatient/default.html

https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume92004/No3Sept04/EvidenceBasedPractices.aspx