With musculoskeletal disorders responsible for almost 50% of injuries among nurses and nursing staff, healthcare settings must address responsible and safe patient handling and mobility issues.
When your organization invests in professional development for staff, it pays for itself quickly. Keeping your staff up-to-date with effective techniques can provide you with measureable savings by avoiding worker’ compensations claims.
Let’s look at some of the benefits for investing in additional training that keeps patients safe and your staff healthy and able to come to work.
Reduction in Lost Time and Worker Injuries
Training programs that emphasize the safe handling of patients significantly reduce the severity and frequency of injuries. By stressing proper techniques for lifting and moving patients your staff will avoid many of the injuries that are associated with patient lifting. When your staff is healthy, there is less absenteeism and fewer work days that are lost due to improper lift strategies.
Protecting Your Bottom Line
Healthcare facilities that begin programs for handling patients safely realize a positive impact to their bottom line. The cost for workers’ compensation claims are reduced, staff retention rates improve, and the process of having to replace injured employees also declines.
Efficient training, investments into equipment that can help to lift patients without straining muscles and backs, and sharing best practices for patient handling protects your bottom line and keeps your best employees loyal to your organization.
Another benefit from effective patient mobility and handling training is improved patient care. When the quality of care that you provide patients increases, patients are happier, healthier, and your reputation in the medical community is stellar. Patients experience fewer pressure ulcers, falls, and skin tears.
When you invest in medical equipment you increase patient mobility; this in turn can reduce the amount of time they must spend in your facility. Patients feel much more secure and comfortable when mechanical transfers are used compared to staff assistance with mobility issues.
Making Your Training Program a Success
In order for your training program stressing patient handling and mobility to be successful, you must have the full support of your administration, key stakeholders, and employee commitment. You should provide the right tools that assist your staff with their job duties and teach the best techniques for using the equipment when moving patients.
Education includes ongoing training and evaluation combined with measurements and improvements. Building a culture of safety within your organization is a team effort that requires a commitment to excellence.
Evaluating Your Program
The best way to evaluate your program is to invite input from those employees directly involved in the care of patients. Include risk factors, safety interventions that are now being used, and ask for suggestions about how to improve the techniques that are currently in practice.
Determine how much you spend on injuries and works’ compensation yearly and establish the projected cost of a patient safe-handling program. This will include the investment that you make in training sessions, equipment, and maintenance and care of supplies.
To establish a comprehensive program for your staff to implement when moving patients you must have a complete picture of the benefits as well as the costs involved.
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