EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
When we began this endeavor (lift team), almost three years ago, we were well aware of the need to find a permanent solution to address the safety of our staff and patients in regards to patient handling and movement. We began with a 2-person transfer team and transformed that team into a 4-person lift/transfer team.
Some of the challenges we faced with this team included finding safer tools and techniques to transfer and move patients, but also we needed to change the entire culture within our facility.
For so many years we had been set in our ways of moving patients, two or three person assisted transfers and “patient boosts” were the way we had always done things. Anyone who has spent enough time in healthcare to remember when proper body mechanics were the best possible way to guard against injury will also be able to tell you that change does not come easy in the world of healthcare.
We now employ various safe patient handling tools as well as education on the use of these tools. Furthermore, we reached out to our local education community and began teaching new principles and ideas concerning the handling and movement of patients. This combats issues of habitual lifting and transferring techniques that are unsafe, but are so ingrained in caregivers that it is difficult to convince them there is a better way.
Within our facility, we meet with new employees during orientation, introducing them to safe patient handling technology and the lift team, which they have access to as employees. Also, we meet yearly with the nurses, nurse aides, and volunteers. During education days we offer them “hands on” training with the new products and equipment we have introduced into our arsenal of tools and techniques available to them.
Since we have begun our lift program we have added staff totaling nine persons in all; with several coming from and still working in other areas of the hospital. This allows us to introduce real time education and prevention in areas where injury due to patient handling may be a higher concern. We have seen positive results for our efforts from the start.
The introduction of a lift program has produced positive results on all fronts and continues to grow and flourish with each day.
For more information on the Evangelical Community Hospital Lift Team contact Rafael Newcomer, Lift/Transfer Team Manager at Rafael.Newcomer@evanhospital.com.