Tampa General Hospital

Tampa, FL

In an effort to reduce staff injuries related to patient handling, Tampa General Hospital (TGH) initiated a lift team program and purchased patient lifting equipment in March 2002.  TGH is a level 1 trauma center with ~1100 beds,  > 8000 employees, magnet hospital, & bariatric center of excellence and is accredited by JACHO.

The lift team program is managed by Employee Health’s Injury Prevention Manager (A full time Physical Therapist). The program began with 6 lift team technicians primarily working during the day. In the past 14 years, the program has grown and now consists of 30 employees: 4 supervisors, 6 lift team tech 2s, 15 lift team technicians 1s, 4 pool staff, and 1 data base management specialist.

The lift team’s responsibilities include repositioning patients in the ICU, transferring patients in/out of bed to recliner, wheelchairs, commodes, stretchers, performing floor transfers, responsible for the maintenance & inventory of all lift equipment and education of staff.

Since the inception of the program, TGH has seen a 73% reduction in patient handling injury rate and a 70% reduction in cost.

The program’s rapid success not only reduced staff injuries, but many patient outcomes were identified by nursing staff such as:


  • increased patient and family satisfaction
  • reduction in patient falls
  • safer transfers in/out of bed
  • patients get turned more frequently, therefore enhances skin integrity
  • patients get out of bed more often and sooner thereby reducing length of stay and enhancing early mobility
  • bariatric care is enhanced

The TGH lift team is an integral part of the team caring for the patients.  They collaborate with physical therapists, the skin care team, radiology, emergency room, etc. Having a lift team program and equipment has also helped with retention and recruitment of nursing staff.

The cost of managing a lift team far outweighs the cost of injuries and patient safety.

For more information on the TGH Lift Team contact Manon Labreche, Injury Prevention Coordinator at mlabreche@tgh.org.