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St. Joseph Hospital Enhances Safe Patient Handling

Healthcare workers endure a disproportionately high rate of injury compared to other service industries. Commonly, injuries occur to nursing assistants and registered nurses during direct daily care of patients. St. Joseph Hospital (a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island) addressed safety concerns by establishing a safe patient handling initiative.

A multidisciplinary committee of hospital staff reviewed best practices, conducted interviews, and used Lean methodology to optimize use of safe handling devices. Accessibility and an unfamiliarity regarding when and how to use safe patient handling equipment were identified as challenges. Operational processes for stocking, storing, and cleaning equipment were updated. Technological processes for helping staff select the most appropriate device were also changed. Directions of use were affixed to devices to serve as a resource for use at the point of care.

Due to these changes, safe patient handling-related injuries decreased by 36%, and safe patient-handling related injuries with lost days of work decreased 67%. Patient falls where the patient was being assisted by nursing staff decreased 21%. A 50% reduction of Worker’s Compensation claims made the facility eligible for the 2.5% Worker’s Compensation Safe Patient Handling credit.

For more information on St. Joseph Hospital’s HANYS Pinnacle Award-winning program, watch HANYS’ video highlighting their achievements.

For more information, contact Carol Ann Foley, Director, Community Relations, St. Joseph Hospital, at (516) 520-2253 or at carolann.foley@chsli.org.