Baptist Union County recently became the fifth Baptist Memorial hospital to install lift equipment to help reduce employee injuries and enhance patient safety and satisfaction.
From 2010- 2012, Baptist Union County had 25 safe patient handling-related employee injuries. Use of the lift equipment is expected to reduce that number by 70 percent. In addition, hospital and patient safety leaders anticipate the lift equipment will lead to a 30 percent reduction in patient falls and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, an increase in employee retention, reduced patient length of stay and an increase in patient satisfaction.
“To increase workplace safety, we made the investment in new lift equipment and training to lift and move patients more safely and efficiently,” Walter Grace, administrator and CEO of Baptist Union County, said. “It’s an investment for our employees and our patients to continue to provide the best care possible.”
Nurses are twice as likely as other workers to suffer ergonomic injuries. In fact, 52 percent of nurses have chronic back pain and 12 percent leave the profession each year because of back pain. In one eight-hour shift, a typical nurse lifts 3,600 lbs., or 1.8 tons.
Baptist DeSoto became the first Baptist Memorial Hospital to start the safe patient handling program when it installed lift equipment in May 2012. In a year, the hospital reduced patient handling-related injuries by 70 percent and also saw decreases in patient falls and hospital-acquired conditions such as venous thromboembolism and ulcers.
Baptist Golden Triangle successfully implemented the safe patient handling program last fall. The hospital had no patient handling-related injuries between November 2013 and January 2014. NEA Baptist also recently began its program, and the remaining Baptist Memorial hospitals will begin the program by the end of 2015. Baptist is investing $10.5 million in the program and equipment.