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FOTO Rehab Outcomes Blog

You Can't Have Good Outcomes if Clinicians are Injured: Safe Patient Handling Strategy

I know the weight limits of all my equipment. I'm thankful that FOTO's patient specific initial intake reports provide body mass index. Patients are more obese now than they were 20 years ago. Equipment tends to have a 350 pound limit. 

I'm in the outpatient world in a private practice. The majority of my patients walk in with at most the aid of an assistive device. Lucky for me, I'm typically not lifting or transferring patients.

My heart goes out to each of you in rehabilitation settings. It can't be easy. You have patients who are less healthy than mine and will have far less functional ability. In the blink of an eye, your life can change with the lack of a patient responding with the anticipated movement pattern or due to the patient's inability to assist you.

In all honesty, you can't help your patients if you are injured. Maybe the below abstract will help some of you stay safe.

Below you will find a quick view of the abstract.


Implementation of a Safe Patient Handling Program in a Multihospital Health System From Inception to Sustainability: Successes Over 8 Years and Ongoing Challenges.



Musculoskeletal injuries, especially back injuries, are among the most frequent injuries sustained by direct caregivers who lift, transfer, and reposition patients. These injuries can be debilitating and, for some caregivers, career ending. In the first year following implementation of the safe patient handling program in a multihospital health care system, an 82% reduction in Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recordable patient handling injuries was realized, a 94% decrease in days away from work, an 85% reduction in restricted duty days, and an 82% reduction in incurred workers' compensation costs. These reductions have been sustained for an 8-year period since the program's implementation in 2008. The primary focus of the program's first year was training and education. Compliance and retraining efforts began in the second year, followed by a gradual transition to the present emphasis on sustainability. This article describes the development and implementation of a safe patient handling program in a multihospital health system and the impact on caregiver injuries over 8 years. Also presented are key strategies that were used to achieve sustainability.

 2017 Jul 1:2165079917704670. doi: 10.1177/2165079917704670. [Epub ahead of print]