CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) has released a position paper calling for patient ambulation as a key health metric alongside other vital metrics such as heart rate and respiration.
"Movement is a critical factor for recovery across the entire spectrum of conditions," says Michael Wong, JD, Executive Director of PPAHS, "However, recent studies show that that nurses - normally responsible for encouraging patients to move - are only able to spend 30 minutes in a 10 hour shift doing so. It's time we prioritize ambulation and empower nurses to help patients recover."
The position paper cites several studies demonstrating that prioritizing earlier ambulation significantly reduces patient length of stay in hospital, some by an average of 3 days. In addition to improving patient recovery and quality of life, a reduction in length of stay has an added benefit of cost efficiency for hospitals. A 2015 review published in the Journal of Arthroplasty estimates the costs billed for one inpatient day after hip replacement at $3,300.
In the statement, PPAHS calls for changes in current clinical policies and protocol to reflect the vital role that key staff - such as nurses and therapists - must play in improving the health of patients through early ambulation. The organization also acknowledges the role that technology must play in achieving this goal; current physiologic monitors are wired, effectively tethering patients to bed and discouraging mobility. In a survey conducted by the PPAHS of American Hospital Association (AHA) nurses in 2014 suggests that monitors should be wearable and wireless; 80% of respondents indicated a desire for these advances.
Mr. Wong has indicated that this will be the first of a series of published positions regarding patient safety, with the goal that they may prompt better understanding, initiatives, technology and processes that enable improved patient health and outcomes. He also emphasized that PPAHS continues to advocate for the continuous monitoring of patients, with ambulation as an additional goal contributing to overall patient wellbeing.
A PDF version of the official statement can be found on the PPAHS website here.
About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve healthcare delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org.
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)