Safe Patient Handling: New Resources, Information Available

September 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance


Healthcare workers, particularly nurses, nurse attendants, orderlies, and attendants, experience some of the highest musculoskeletal injury rates of any occupation, due in large part to the manual lifting, transferring, and repositioning of patients. Patient-handling injuries can be costly, both to the facility and to the healthcare worker. In order to reduce these rates, it is important to establish a program dedicated to safe patient handling and movement—one that includes the appropriate use of patient-lifting devices.

We have published three articles on safe patient handling and on patient lifts in the past few years (see Additional Resources). Recently, new resources have become available on this topic.

The July 2012 edition of the Joint Commission’s Environment of Care Newsfeatures an article on implementing a safe-patient-handling program. Titled “Lifted Up: Implementing the Right Safe Patient Handling Program and Equipment Can Help Reduce Risks,” the article describes ways in which such a program can mitigate the risks associated with manual patient handling. It stresses proper training, adherence to proper lifting techniques, and the use...

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