TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobility is a basic human function yet many of our healthcare organizations operate in a culture of immobility that limits patients' freedom to move around in space. Despite progress in some healthcare organizations, mobility that is safe for staff and patients is not a reality throughout all of healthcare. We urge all healthcare organizations to place a high priority on mobility that is safe for staff and patients.
Safely mobilizing patients aids healing and recovery, prevents rehospitalization and decreases the risk of life threatening complications associated with immobility such as falls, pneumonias, pressure injuries and skin injuries, deep vein thrombosis, urinary tract infection, and delirium. Accidental falls alone are a leading cause of fatal injuries among older adults (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db199.htm) and thousands of people die of complications of pressure injuries each year (https://journals.lww.com/aswcjournal/Fulltext/2005/09000/Pressure_Ulcers__More_Lethal_Than_We_Thought_.10.aspx).
Nurses, nursing assistants, orderlies and emergency response personnel have the highest occupational injury rates of musculoskeletal injuries compared to all other occupations. According to the CDC, over 50 percent of injuries and illnesses reported in 2013 among nursing assistants were musculoskeletal disorders. Most injuries among healthcare staff are due to patient lifting, transferring, repositioning and providing physical assistance to patients. These injuries result in lost work days, pain, suffering, loss of workers to the workforce, and a significant burden to healthcare organizations (https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/patient_handling.html). The success of ergonomics-based Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) programs, which have evolved since the mid-1990s, is a function of access to the appropriate patient handling equipment, an ongoing system of education, and program and organizational leadership. The evidence is clear: (1) SPHM decreases the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal injuries among direct care providers caused by providing mobility assistance to patients (https://journals.lww.com/joem/fulltext/2013/10000/Patient_Handling_in_the_Veterans_Health.15.aspx); and (2) SPHM programs provide a return on investment of the initial capital outlay for equipment in 3-5 years by decreasing worker compensation costs and lost work days (https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/documents/3.5_SPH_effectiveness_508.pdf).
For the past two decades many individuals, organizations, and companies have worked tirelessly to make healthcare safer for patients and staff through SPHM research and innovation, programming and education. As we move into the 20th year of the annual SPHM conference we are asking that all interested parties join us in a concerted effort to ensure that mobility is done safely throughout all of healthcare by recommitting your skills, talents and resources. We all play critical roles in making this a reality but we all must move in the same direction.
- Healthcare Administrators: Please consider sending one more of your SPHM team members to our 19th national conference March 3-8, 2019 in Orlando FL. If you do not have a SPHM committee, conference attendance is an excellent way to start one up, gain best practice advice or revitalize a fledgling one. SPHM done correctly will save your organization money and it is the right thing to do to protect your employees and to create positive patient outcomes. We offer group rates for 5 people or more from a facility or organization.
- Clinicians (nurses and nursing assistants, physical/occupational/kinesio therapists and therapy assistants, providers) and Safety Staff: Please consider attending our SPHM conference in March. We also invite you to attend our industry webinars and regional events offered throughout the year to learn new knowledge, best practices and skills for transforming your organizations into patient mobility hubs of excellence! These events provide valuable interprofessional networking opportunities for mutual support and sharing of best practices.
- Vendors/Manufacturers/Exhibitors: If you have not signed up to showcase your products in the vendor hall please consider doing so. We know that you are constantly working to innovate your equipment and leverage the newest technologies. The vendor hall is the place to connect with healthcare staff and show them your solutions to the challenges they face in mobilizing patients. Conference attendees are eager to try out equipment. We invite you to host your best piece of equipment for the new case-based learning scenarios we are offering to conference participants per their requests. Conference sponsorship will earn you special recognition on all conference signage, advertising, conference brochure and other materials. We would also like to invite you to support regional events in the future through donations of time and resources. By working with professional and technical schools to ensure knowledge of proper training of our future healthcare workers we can increase the demand for SPHM technology together.
- Insurance Providers and Brokers. As individuals who understand the financial implications of poor mobility techniques in hospitals, we encourage you to send and/or sponsor your colleagues and clients to this year's conference. Year after year, we hear stories of the impact of the conference and how that impact causes people to become more vocal about the need for a robust SPHM program at their organizations. We encourage you to send your risk managers to spread knowledge to a ripe industry. Sponsoring clients will pay off for you when they spread the safe mobility message to their facilities and implement SPHM programs. If you send at least 10 people to the conference, we will waive the fee for one of your staff to attend! Conference sponsorship will earn you special recognition on all conference signage, advertising, conference brochure and other materials.
- Faculty of future healthcare workers. Like clinicians, please consider attending national, regional and local educational opportunities to ensure that you are teaching current evidence-based SPHM. Just this past August, we cosponsored a free Mobility is Medicine workshop in Los Angeles, CA. Read more about it here: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mobility-medicine-hosts-sold-workshop-160000022.html. We encourage you to reach out to your local clinical partners to align practices and reach out to interprofessional faculty colleagues to co-teach the basics of SPHM. You can easily access the broader safe patient handling and mobility network and continue the conversations started at the Conference by joining the online industry forum at forum.MiM-i.org.
- Consumers of healthcare. Help us get the word out about how important mobility is for patients, and the importance of SPHM programs to keep them mobilized during hospitalization and during other interactions with healthcare personnel.
For more information or to register for the Tampa VA Research and Education Foundation, Inc. 2019 SPHM conference, visit http://www.tampavaref.org/safe-patient-handling/index.htm. Vendors, please contact Valerie Kelleher at 813-558-3948 or email her at Valerie.firstname.lastname@example.org. All, feel free to reach out Gail Powell-Cope at email@example.com.
Thank you for considering our requests. Only together can we transform healthcare that is safe for both healthcare staff and for patients.
SOURCE Tampa VA Research and Education Foundation