Healthcare worker and patient safety

Equipment designed to help healthcare workers lift and move patients safely doesn’t just benefit the workers.

It can also improve patients’ quality of life.

Wisconsin group home owner Steve Campbell learned this firsthand when he introduced a resident to his new Handicare QuickMove, a device that makes it easy to help patients stand up and move around safely.

“When we first took it out of the box he was laughing and smiling,” Campbell said. “He was just ecstatic.”

The resident previously needed a staff member on each side supporting him anytime he wanted to walk. Now the QuickMove provides support, and he just needs one staff member alongside him as he uses it to stand up and move around. As a result he’s walking more and using more of his own muscles, which is making him stronger, Campbell said.

“It’s basically walking on his own,” Campbell said.

“It’s kind of a two-for-one,” Gruber said. “It was rewarding to see this patient’s life improve significantly while also protecting the staff from the threat of a serious injury.”

Campbell learned about the equipment from SFM Loss Prevention Specialist Carl Gruber, who explained that the equipment could serve two purposes — provide his resident with more independence and protect his staff from injuries caused by manually lifting and supporting the resident.

“It’s kind of a two-for-one,” Gruber said. “It was rewarding to see this patient’s life improve significantly while also protecting the staff from the threat of a serious injury.”

Gruber, who is certified in safe patient handling, trained the staff on how to use the equipment. Campbell said staff members are already seeing the benefits, and he has added peace of mind about the safety of his resident and employees.

Healthcare workers at significant risk

Statistically, working in healthcare is more dangerous than both construction and logging. More than half of the healthcare worker injuries reported to SFM are strains and sprains, and lifting and transferring patients is a common cause.

Using sit-to-stand devices like the Handicare QuickMove or the Wy’East Vista has helped healthcare groups go from three or four patient falls per month down to zero, said Barrier Free Access Safety and Education Manager Amy Villars. Barrier Free Access, an SFM company, sells both products.

Clearly there’s a human cost to patient falls, but there’s also a financial one. The average patient or resident fall costs $14,050, Villars said, and that doesn’t include costs associated with related healthcare worker injuries.

“Pairing the two together, you can see the overall cost savings is enormous,” Villars said.

For more information on safe patient handling, browse our website, visit the Barrier Free Access website, or talk with your loss prevention representative. SFM has loss prevention representatives certified in safe patient handling working in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

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