Safe Patient Handling programs are a unique, two-dimensional process which requires the inclusion and participation of various hospital departments to be effective.

This level of involvement is why such injury prevention programs are categorized as comprehensive. It is not uncommon to assume that when patient-lift equipment is purchased and placed in clinical areas where manual patient-lifting activities occur, that associated injuries will automatically decline, or completely disappear altogether. Unfortunately, the reality is that this is rarely the case leaving organizations to wonder why patient-handling injuries continue following massive patient-lift equipment purchases.

The “Two-Dimensional Process” for which you will commonly hear The RP Hawkins Group reference has everything to do with two separate but equal parts working together to address one common goal; musculoskeletal injury prevention. It is one thing to make patient-lift equipment available to staff, but it becomes a total “game changer” when a structured process with a specific intent to strengthen end-user’s commitment to using mechanical-lift devices is introduced into nursing practice. A well-structured Safe Patient Handling program is the distinct difference between equipment that sits stagnant, and when equipment that is consistently used becomes the organization’s standard for lifting and moving patients. Nevertheless, both parts must work together harmoniously in order for this injury prevention system to be effective.

Found within our Two-Dimensions: Patient-Lift Equipment and Safe Patient Handling Program, are several considerations needed to maximize patient-lift equipment investments. Those considerations include:

1 Appropriation: Applying the right equipment to the appropriate clinical setting
2 Standardization: Sustained equipment utilization through consistent and repetitious processes
3 Dissemination: passing along pertinent knowledge from close calls and lessons learned
4 Application: Leveraging both positive and negative outcomes to improve patient practice processes that involves patient-lift equipment.

A successful Safe Patient Handling program is more than just having pieces of patient-lift equipment scattered randomly throughout a patient-care organization. Instead, the program represents a well-organized clinical operation centered upon patient-lift equipment supported by strategically implemented utilization processes. Successful outcomes are directly related to both understanding and executing this injury prevention system along with the organization’s ability to create the necessary internal collaborations. The RP Hawkins Group specializes in providing the assistance needed to connect all the organizational pieces.

Contact Roric to discuss how to implement this two-dimensional process needed to prevent musculoskeletal injuries related to manually lifting and moving patients.