CategoriesPatient Handling

Why Are Nurses Still Getting Injured?

Healthcare workers and nurses in hospitals and nursing homes are susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries because for the most part they are still manually repositioning and moving patients. The high frequency of manually lifting moving and transferring patients poses many risks to the nurses. This is now a well known and well documented risk, and yet still a question; why are nurses still getting injured?  The VA Patient Center of Inquiry began researching healthcare worker injuries decades ago and determined that safe and ergonomically designed assistive equipment both improves patient care and minimizes musculoskeletal nursing injury to caregivers.

The SPH Medical Air Transfer and Positioning Mat is the ideal solution for most hospital wide safe patient handling programs to help nurses avoid many of the predictable patient handling tasks.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that healthcare workers lift a maximum of 35 pounds. That means no more than 35 pound per person if one or two nurses are helping a patient.  Most patients weigh above 180 pounds and manually lifting them, or attempting to reposition them up in bed, causes overexertion, sprains, strains, and may lead to a career ending back injury.

With the sad fact that nurses still getting injured in a work environment, SPH Medical decided to do something about it. That’s where SPH Medical Air Transfer and Positioning Mat comes in handy in hospital setups. The tool is integrated into the safe handling of patients. It also eliminates the need for manual patient transfers and mitigates the risks of nurses’ injuries.
Nurses and healthcare workers can use the SPH Medical Air Transfer Positioning Mat in the following circumstances:

Repositioning of Patients

Repositioning is moving a patient from one supine (lying down) position to a new one. The method aims to alleviate pressure exerted on their body tissues and prevent pressure sores. Nurses are required to change the position of a patient after every two hours.

This process is also known as boosting up in bed a patient. Bed-ridden patients who have slid down the bed need boosting up in bed to acquire proper alignment and prevent bed sores, contractures, or foot drops.

The activity is high-risk and will cause repositioning injury if the appropriate slings, sheets, and lifts are not used. The awkward healthcare worker’s posture and the patient’s weight may contribute to musculoskeletal injuries. Since the task is performed several times a day, it increases the likelihood of injuries.

The Disposable Air Transfer System provides nurses with a seamless and safe way to move patients. The mattress is inflated by a blower to release air out of the bottom via the multiple small pin holes. This creates a thin layer of air at the bottom of the mattress which minimizes friction. Less lifting and pulling are indispensable, thus posing minimal risks to patients and nurses.

Nurses Still Getting Injured During The Lateral Transfer

Lateral transfer is moving patients from one surface or bed to another. The traditional way of pulling patients using sliding boards or draw sheets is quite dangerous. Many nurses still getting injured when transferring a patient. According to the National Library of Medicine, 97.3% of the nurses lodged a complaint of work-related pain in a research on work-related musculoskeletal pain occurrence.

Air Powered transfer systems are the most preferred tools in lateral transfer. They make a thin air cushion at the inflated mattress’s bottom. This method helps minimize friction and ensure patients stay afloat as they are transferred from one surface to another.

Top Advantages of the Air Transfer Systems

  • Disposable Items: The Transfer Mats are for single-use and are disposable types. Although they are labeled as disposable, you can use them on one patient multiple times until they no longer need them or are soiled. Thus they prevent cross-contamination and hospital-acquired disease transmission.
  • No Need for Laundry: Laundry does not offer 100% bacteria elimination, especially when under substandard conditions. The fabric slings are made of porous materials, and bacteria and pathogens can be trapped in the crannies and nooks. Using such slings on patients makes them vulnerable to infections. But the disposable repositioning sheets and slings don’t require laundry and you can dispose them after use.
  • Offers Better Management of Inventory: The single-use mats and slings are easier to monitor and relatively accessible. Also, health workers don’t have to wait for 3- days for the slings and sheets to be laundered and returned to the hospital. In the long run, they offer ultimate convenience.
  • Designed with the Safety of Nurses and Patients in Mind: Manual handling of patients causes strains, sprains, and low back pain for the nurses. The old-fashioned method also causes friction and tissue damage in patients. But the Air Transfer System reduces the need to lift and pull patients, thus preventing common musculoskeletal disorders. They are also designed with breathable and soft materials that do not irritate the patients.

SPH Medical’s assistive solutions minimize injuries and pain for nurses and patients. There are essential items for nursing facilities and medical centers that assist in preventing nurse injury, repositioning, and boosting up in bed of patients.

SPH Medical's EPD improves patient comfort and safety during spinal blocks and epidurals.
CategoriesPatient Handling

Improving Spinal Block Safety in Hospitals

Hospital staff and patient safety should be a top priority for all hospitals, say most healthcare professionals.  Many leading hospitals that have made staff safety a top priority have been found to have at least one epidural positioning device (EPD) in both their surgery department and another in their labor and delivery unit. These hospitals and health systems are also the ones that have healthcare workers with fewer missed work days due to musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders are some of the most costly and debilitating injuries to nurses and nurse assistants. They often lead to chronic pain and lost work days.  Back injuries are brought on by patient-handling mishaps where proper use of equipment was not employed. Facilities that use assistive devices to improve spinal block safety have documented a reduction of injury rates and severity as well as a reduction direct and indirect medical expenses. Hospitals that do not have such devices have much higher rates of injury and more lost work days. And this is backed by two very credible studies, the first of which is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That study revealed overexertion is a factor in most musculoskeletal disorder cases among medical teams.

The study also notes that the overexertion that befalls most medical teams is usually a byproduct of lifting, holding, and otherwise positioning patients to receive a spinal block or epidural injection. In a separate Bureau of Labor Statistics study, researchers revealed overexertion-related musculoskeletal disorders were to blame for more than 8,730 days-away-from-work cases filed for registered nurses in 2016. That said, there is some good news; the number of musculoskeletal disorders and missed work days among hospital medical teams are nowhere near as high these days. And this is thanks to more hospitals embracing and adding the epidural chair to the rest of the advanced equipment already in their surgery departments and labor and delivery units.

How an EPD Helps Administer Epidural Pain Relief While also Improving Spinal Block Safety

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), musculoskeletal disorders can affect bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues in varying parts of the body. The organization further notes that they can cause extreme pain, mobility problems, and, in some cases, may even be disabling. They are also some of the costliest to treat as far as work-related injuries are concerned. Most musculoskeletal disorder cases that result in hospital medical teams having to miss work involve the following:

  • The upper and lower back
  • Neck and shoulders
  • Arms, hands, legs, and feet

Whether it be for a pregnant woman due to give birth in a hospital’s labor and delivery unit or someone scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure in a hospital’s surgery department, an epidural chair to administer epidural pain relief can make life easier for everyone involved. For those who have never seen them, an epidural positioning device or epidural chair is a medical apparatus fitted with head, chest, and arm supports that help insure that a patient remains in a stable and comfortable position while they maintain the ideal flexed spine position for the injection.

These two things keep medical teams from overly exerting themselves when preparing patients to receive a spinal block or epidural. They also reduce the chances of a patient falling after receiving these powerful pain blockers which means that hospital staff also avoid having to catch a falling patient. This is a Spinal Block Safety Improved with EPD preventing falls well known cause of injury to nurses. Additionally, the EPD can reduce the risk of injection mishaps, which can sometimes happen when medical teams have to manually prop up a patient before injecting them with one of these powerful pain-blocking medications. To learn more about EPDs and why they are a must for modern-day hospitals, consider speaking with an SPH Medical associate today.

CategoriesSlings and Lifts

Single Patient Use Slings Reduce Injuries

Single Patient Use Slings and Repositioning Sheets in Hospitals

Repositioning sheets are specialized slings that are used to reposition patients in their beds. They are especially beneficial in hospital units that have total care patients (patients who are bed bound and are unable to turn themselves in bed and need full nursing assistance). Since the patient can’t move or position themselves, it’s the nurse’s duty to reposition them every two hours to prevent the development of pressure ulcers. However, patient repositioning is one of the major causes of nursing injuries. Thankfully, SPH Medical solves this problem by providing hospitals and healthcare facilities with a broad range of single patient use slings and repositioning sheets. They also equip facilities with overhead ceiling lifts and mobile lifts, which are essential for the effective use of the sheets.  The goal of using patient lift equipment is to reduce the risk of injury to nursing staff by eliminating manual patient handling.  OSHA safe lifting guidelines state that nurses shouldn’t be lifting more than 35 pounds, and yet most patients are 180- 250 pounds on average, and many are much heavier.

The benefit of having a breathable repositioning sheet is that it can remain under the patient, and since it connects to the overhead or mobile lift, boosting or turning patients is safe and easier for nursing staff. They can also hold the patient in a side-lying position for cleaning or wound dressing changes. These sheets are also used to transfer patients from bed to a stretcher or to assist with linen changes.

What are Single Patient Use Repositioning Sheets?

A single patient use slings and repositioning sheets (SPU) are a sheet that’s used by a single patient. These are considered disposable but they can be used multiple times with the same patient until they are either soiled, no longer needed due to changing patient conditions or upon patient discharge.  Caregivers often use these sheets in hospitals and nursing homes to improve safety and patient care. The purpose of the sheet is primarily to eliminate the manual lifting that typically occurs with the high frequency task of repositioning and turning patients in bed.  However, given that it enables more efficient boosting and turning one could say that patients are more likely to repositioned which protects patients’ skin.

There are various types of slings including the highback disposable sling and the universal sling, even amputee slings and commode slings. The highback sling is the most common type of seated style lifting sling as it offers extra support to the head in case the patient doesn’t have good head or neck control. This type of sling is often the standard of care in hospitals because it accommodates all patients. Seated position slings are designed to assist with lifting and transferring patients from bed to chair, and back, or over to a wheelchair or toilet.

Single patient use repositioning sheets are made of a safe breathable material for the patient and are comfortable to lie on. Since the sheet is made of a soft cotton/poly blend material, it’s does not cause any irritation to the patients’ skin. Moreover, it’s designed to be used by only one patient and this ensures that the there is reduced risk that the patient is exposed to cross contamination from other slings or sheets that are used with other patients.

Comparison between Launderable and Single Patient Use Slings

Disposable slings, or SPU slings, are more cost effective than launderable slings when considering all of the benefits that they offer in terms of risk reduction and injury prevention.  For starters, ordering these slings is generally easier as they become a standard supply item.  Once on hand you can easily track the available stock and therefore their usage. What’s more, unlike their counterparts, you don’t have to deal with long laundry processes or slings getting lost in the laundry system.

There are many reasons why the disposable options are better for patient care. One of the primary benefits of disposable slings and repositioning sheets is that they reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infections or HAI’s.  Remember, when using launderable slings, they are often reused between multiple patients without properly being disinfected.  How does a nurse properly disinfect a fabric sling at the hospital instead of sending it to the laundry?  It’s not an easy task because fabric slings are porous and pathogens can hide in the nooks and crannies of the sling.  Fabric slings should go to the laundry so the concern about infection prevention can properly be addressed.  The laundry system whether inhouse our through an outside service provider generally takes 3-5 days to return specialty items, in this case slings, back to the hospital for distribution.  This turn around time can be a major contributor to staff injuries if slings are not available.  On the other hand, the disposable slings are easily ordered, pulled from the shelf, and are only used by one patient. Therefore, in the long run, single patient use slings and repositioning slings are safer from an infection prevention and injury prevention perspective.

The Benefits of Single Patient Use Slings and Repositioning Sheets

Patients in the ICU or critical care units within a hospital can benefit from using disposable repositioning sheets. These sheets are designed for single-patient use and help make the formerly manual process of repositioning and turning more comfortable and efficient. Some of the benefits of using a disposable repositioning sheet include the following:

  • Increased Patient Comfort

    Disposable repositioning sheets can help increase patients’ comfort during in bed repositioning and turning as well as transfers from bed to gurney or bed to CT table.

  • Improved efficiency

    Using a disposable repositioning sheet improves the efficiency of medical procedures. By using mechanical assistance like an overhead lift during repositioning tasks nurses can easily boost a patient alone or with a second nurse where in the past they would need at least two to four nurses to perform the same task.

  • Reduced Risk of Infection

    One of the main benefits of using a disposable sheet or disposable sling is that it reduces the risk of cross-contamination since each patient is assigned their own sheet or sling.  Some laundry systems don’t use the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens and this can lead to Healthcare Associated Infections.

  • Protects Nurses from Injuries

    The predictable high frequency of lifting and transferring patients has been well documented to be dangerous to the nurse. Therefore, appropriate lifting equipment is absolutely essential to prevent a nursing injury. A single-patient use sling’s design allows ease-use by the nurse, preventing overexertion, strains and sprains, and career ending back injuries,

  • Easy to Order and Keep Inventory

    Lastly, ordering and managing single-patient use sling stock is simple. You can easily track and record what’s available within the facility. This contrasts with launderable slings, which need to be properly cleaned and disinfected. Unfortunately these expensive slings have been known to get lost in the laundry.

SPH Medical Disposable Sheets

SPH Medical prioritizes patient care, and that’s why they have a wide range of disposable repositioning sheets. Using disposable repositioning sheets is the new trend in hospitals and healthcare centers. They offer many cost effective, safe solutions for lifting, moving, and transferring patients. Most importantly, they reduce the risk of cross-infection and injuries while improving patient care.

The sheets available here are suitable for all mobile and overhead lifts. They come in various sizes and styles to meet every patient’s needs and care settings. Repositioning sheets from SPH Medical are made of a breathable material, so they can remain under the patient for an extended period of time and are considered just as safe as hospital bed linen. Visit the official SPH medical website to check the complete portfolio of single patient use slings and single patient use air transfer and positioning mattresses.

Early Patient Mobility and the SPH Medical RoWalker
Categoriesearly mobility

Advancements in Early Mobility

As the years go by, more and more patient care programs and trends are making their way into the mainstream. One area that has received a plethora of focus in recent years is the advancements in early mobility benefits for those in the ICU and critical care units. If your hospital doesn’t currently have a formal early patient mobility program, it’s time to consider implementing one.

The Biggest Problems With Bedridden Patients

Any nurse that has ever spent time on the floor can tell you that bedridden patients experience numerous health issues beyond their current diagnosis. A big one is muscle deconditioning or weakness that occurs when the muscles aren’t adequately used. Some other notable issues patients experience include delirium and depression.

Fighting These Problems With Early Mobilization

A major solution that has helped to greatly reduce and even eliminate some of these unhealthy conditions in patients is the implementation of early mobilization. Both patients in the ICUs and critical care units have been noted to enhance all of the following:

  • Functional Recovery
  • Walking Distance
  • Reduced Length of Stay
  • Respiratory Function
  • Cardiac Health
  • Muscular Function

While the benefits of early mobilization can have any nurse or PT excited about being able to help their patients even more, implementing this type of program at your hospital requires some planning and clinical input. Not only do you need to convince staff members and patients alike that early mobilization is the key to their best and fastest recovery, but you need to have the right equipment to get the job done.

The SPH Medical RoWalker Platform Walker Providing Advancements in Early Mobility

This acute care ambulation walker is the product of more than ten years worth of collaboration with physical therapists, interdisciplinary nurses, cardiothoracic surgeons, and respiratory therapists. It’s ergonomically designed and provides patients with optimal physical security so that they’re more confident when getting out of bed for the first time. In many cases patients are afraid to get out of bed and stand for the first time. They don’t trust their own legs to support them and also don’t trust the nurse or therapist to prevent them from falling.

Optimal Patient Security

The RoWalker provides an optimal level of patient security with adjustable hand grips, optional support belt, and other unique features. Now you can support early patient mobility with fewer staff members without compromising patient safety. The RoWalker will be sure to fit perfectly into your safe patient handling program, and you’ll be confident knowing that your patients can ambulate with a proven device that has been used in many evidence based mobility programs across the country.

This helpful device utilizes an optional ambulation belt that can be used to assist a low-functioning during walking for fall prevention. This is a great add on to a device that already has everything. With adjustable height levels, the RoWalker can support patients of all heights and sizes. It features two convenient hand grips complemented by padded arm rests to offer optimal patient support.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, there are seat flaps that flip up and can also be rotated outwards 180 degrees so that the RoWalker can be brought right up to the bedside so that patients can feel more comfortable standing and taking their first steps.

The seat flaps go a long way in preventing unwanted falls and providing opportunities for rest for both the patient and your staff members alike. Now with the built in seat flaps you don’t have to drag a wheelchair behind the patient during ambulation and fewer staff are required when ambulating ICU patients.

The SPH Medical RoWalker supports IV and Oxygen

Designed With Patient Needs in Mind

The SPH Medical RoWalker is designed with various components that can easily house patient necessities to ensure that they’re under optimal care throughout their mobilization program. The RoWaker has an integrated IV pole, a convenient oxygen tank holder, and a large front basket that can support a portable ventilator or cardiac monitor. You’ll find adequate room for all of the assistive devices that your patients need.

Advancements in early mobility are becoming more and more prominent as its many benefits for the body continually become cited by medical facilities and practitioners. The SPH Medical RoWalker can be the perfect assistive device to help patients in your ICU and critical care units get up and move sooner. With so much evidence supporting the use of early patient mobilization in hospitals, you simply can’t afford not to integrate this program into your facility.

CategoriesPatient Handling

The Benefit of SPU Slings and Repositioning Sheets

Single Patient Use (SPU) Slings and Repositioning Sheets offer hospitals and nursing homes an effective and safe way to lift, move, transfer and reposition patients. These SPU slings and sheets from SPH Medical are designed with patient safety in mind, preventing cross-contamination and disease transmission between patients and healthcare workers while enabling the safe lifting, transferring, and mobility needed to improve patient outcomes. The disposable nature of SPU slings and sheets means they are designed to be assigned to one patient and used as long as they are needed and then disposed of when the patient no longer needs them or they become soiled.  These items are considered disposable and are never laundered, saving both time and money, and perhaps more importantly they are also easier to order, keep track of, and store.

Slings and Repositioning Sheets for Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Patients at all types of healthcare facilities including hospitals and extended care facilities have unique mobility needs relating to their specific condition and functional ability or deficit. Unfortunately when caregivers use manual techniques to lift, transfer, or mobilize patients, the caregiver is at risk of injury due to overexertion, complicated by handling increasingly heavier patients, and potential awkward body postures.Universal Disposable Sling with Head Support

In addition to the traditional SPU highback sling for seated position lifting, an advanced Breathable Repositioning Sheet is available from SPH Medical that can be left beneath the patient for extended periods of time. When nurses are faced with repositioning patients in bed, Single Patient Use (SPU) repositioning sheets and slings are the best option for reducing the risk of nursing injuries and cross-contamination.

The repositioning sheet was designed to turn and boost the patient up in bed,Breathable Repositioning Sheets improve patient care and can remain under patients the two most common in-bed repositioning tasks.  Another great benefit of sheet is being able to hold a patient in side-lying position for skin assessments and cleaning.

The SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet has been tested and documented to confirm that there is no increase in pressure or heat as compared to a standard hospital bed sheet.  This testing ensures that the hospital wound care and pressure ulcer team will support the use of the repositioning sheet and will allow it to remain under patients to support boosting and turning.  The repositioning sheet provides support and comfort for the patient during repositioning tasks.

When considering using Single Patient Use slings versus investing capital budget dollars in launderable slings, the availability and accessibility of SPU slings is one of the key benefits.  However, in addition, SPU slings also reduce the risk of spreading life threatening pathogens from patient to patient.  For these reasons, SPU slings and sheets are the ideal solutions to provide safe patient handling and transfers.

The selection of SPU slings available from SPH Medical is comprehensive and designed to provide maximum comfort, stability, and support while lifting or repositioning the patient.

Slings and Mobile Lifts

All SPH Medical SPU slings are mobile lift and overhead lift friendly (ceiling-mounted) comply with industry standards including ISO 10535.  These slings are considered to be universal slings that can be used with traditional hook and loop sling bar or carry bar lift systems.

SPU slings and sheets are designed with patient safety and comfort in mind. A broad range of styles and sizes are offered to ensure the appropriate fit.

SPU slings and sheets are disposable, eliminating the need for costly laundering and reducing the hazard of cross-contamination between patients, nurses, and environmental surfaces. Furthermore, their disposable nature makes them easier to track and keep in stock as a supply item.

SPH Medical SPU slings and repositioning sheets offer hospitals and nursing facilities the opportunity to greatly reduce injury risk to healthcare workers and cross-contamination while providing a comfortable and supportive transfer experience. These universal SPU slings and sheets supplied by SPH Medical are cost-effective when compared to other manufacturers and because they are disposable they eliminate the need for costly laundering.  Of course when using SPU slings and sheets, hospitals and nursing facilities also benefit from improved inventory control and supply management.  Loosing slings in the laundry system or having no slings available becomes a thing of the past.

Durable, Breathable, and Designed to Enhance Patient Mobility

These SPU slings and sheets are highly durable, breathable, and designed to enhance patient mobility, and minimize injury to nurses and caregiving staff. In addition, SPU slings and sheets reduce cross-contamination risk and can help reduce healthcare associated infections. SPU slings and sheets are cost-effective, reducing the need for costly laundering, and can be easily tracked and stored. All in all, SPH Medical’s single-patient use slings and repositioning sheets are outstanding products for hospitals and nursing facilities.  With supply chain issues affecting many other manufacturers and suppliers, SPH Medical stands ready to supply these critical supplies to hospitals nationwide to support daily patient care.

SPH Medical’s single-patient use slings and repositioning sheets are essential items for hospitals and nursing facilities to support safe patient handling programs, nurse injury prevention, and the lifting, transferring, repositioning, and mobility of patients.

Categoriesair transfer systems,  Patient Handling

Preventing Nurse Injuries

Nursing is a very physically demanding job. Nurses spend most of each shift on their feet, walking for miles around the hospital each day. They are also expected to move patients around multiple times per day with little or no help. Moving patients from one location to another can cause injury and strain on nurses. This article focuses on preventing nurse injuries and the safety precautions and equipment used to perform safe patient handling.

There are high frequency patient handling tasks nurses have to perform that have traditionally involved manual pushing, pulling, or lifting.  These tasks are:

  • Lateral transfers
  • Repositioning patients in bed

Lateral transfers

A lateral transfer is when a patient is moved from one surface to another. For example, it is not uncommon for a patient to need to be moved from a bed to a gurney, from the gurney into a CT machine or onto an operating room table, and then back onto the gurney and finally back into bed.

During these transfers, the patient is often unconscious or incapacitated and cannot assist in any way. An injured patient needs to be moved smoothly and gently to avoid further injury.

The old-fashioned ways of performing these transfers, such as a sliding board or pulling on a sheet underneath the patient, are very physically challenging and require the nurses’ to use poor ergonomics. In addition, while the guidelines suggest using four to eight nurses per transfer of an average adult human, often there is insufficient staff and two nurses have to do the job by themselves.

Repositioning patients in bed

Patients who are bed-bound need to be repositioned multiple times per day toavoid pressure sores. Patients also often slide down in the bed and need to be shifted back up (“boosting up in bed”). These repositioning efforts usually involve two nurses pulling on a sheet underneath the patient. Repositioning a patient in bed really describes a variety of in-bed positioning tasks that nurses perform to move patients. A nurse can engage in hundreds of repositioning tasks every shift, this is why there needs to be safe patient handling techniques coupled with assistive devices in place to help prevent nurse injuries.

Preventing Nurse Injuries and How a Nurse can get Hurt

Nurses are injured on the job at a rate (six per 100 workers) far exceeding that of all other industries combined (three per 100 workers). One study that analyzed workers’ compensation claims made by nurses found that repositioning injury was the most common type of nursing injury, costing over $29 million in direct medical costs to treat. That figure does not take into account the emotional and economic costs incurred by nurses having to find some other type of employment after suffering a permanent injury on the job.

Technology that can help nurses

A variety of different devices are available to make patient transfers easier for both the nurses and the patients. Some of these devices use mechanical lifts and utilize the SPH Medical breathable repositioning sheet to lift, turn and boost patients. Other solutions focus on reducing the friction between the patient and the surface, which makes it easier to move the patient. The clinical practice guidelines all strongly recommend the use of an air powered lateral transfer device when transferring a patient to and from an operating table.

One study randomly tested eight different types of assistive transfer devices and found that air-powered devices were rated the highest in terms of nurse comfort, ease of use, and patient safety.

Air-powered transfer systems, Help Preventing Nurse Injuries

The SPH Medical Air Powered Lateral Transfer System is a popular choice. It consists of an inflatable mat that is placed under the patient. When it is inflated, it gently cradles the patient while creating a thin layer of air under the patient, allowing the patient to be gently floated into their new position or location. Two nurses can easily transfer a patient with this device. It dramatically reduces the risk of injury to both the nurses and the patient.Air Powered Transfer and Positioning System

An SPH air-powered transfer device can be left underneath a bed-bound patient and used throughout the day for repositioning and boosting up in bed procedures. They are rated for up to 1000 pounds and are compatible with all major air blower systems.

The SPH air-powered transfer devices are also radiolucent, meaning they can be left in place during imaging procedures. The patient can be placed on the transfer mat in the first bed they occupy after arriving at the hospital and it can then be used to ease every transfer and repositioning throughout the patient’s stay.

SPH air-powered transfer devices come in both reusable and single-patient types. The SPH Medical Single Patient Use Air Transfer Mattress can be dedicated to one patient throughout their stay and then discarded. This prevents the transfer of dangerous pathogens from patient to patient without having to engage in costly and time-consuming laundry, cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Oxydiff provides a highly effective no rinse no wipe disinfection of hard surfaces
CategoriesInfection Prevention

Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections

Environmental Disinfection To Prevent Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s)

Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s) are a common cause of death in healthcare facilities and represent a significant cost burden. A recent study found that influenza-associated hospitalization affected 156,097 people in Germany. However, many of these infections could be prevented by proper cleaning and disinfection of the environments in which they occur.  Hospitals are challenged with having sick patients that come in from the community with transmittable diseases that can often put other patients at risk.  In other cases like patients who develop Clostridium Difficile infections while in the hospital can also transmit this very difficult to kill, spore forming bacteria, to nurses, objects, or surfaces where the spores can survive for months.  For this reason a focus on environmental disinfection of patient care areas and surgical suites is absolutely critical.

Top Stubborn Pathogens That Cause Hospital Acquired Infections

Several resistant organisms cause significant problems in healthcare facilities. The CDC has identified the following as the most common multidrug-resistant healthcare-associated pathogens:

  • MRSA
  • Clostridium deficile
  • CRE
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Norovirus

What Are The 5 Common Challenges Facing Healthcare Facilities In Environmental Disinfection?

Unfavorable Structural Design

Two central issues facing healthcare facilities are the design of their physical plant and the limitations that these restrictions imposed on the disinfection process. Structurally, healthcare facilities are often built with materials that inhibit disinfection. The most common example is the glazed tile, often used in hospitals to protect against infection. This surface is difficult to disinfect and can also harbor organisms.

Overcrowded Hospital Units

Another challenge facing healthcare facilities is the overcrowding of patients. This increases the number of patients in beds, chairs, and others, leading to further contact with surfaces in the patient’s environment. It also leads to more cross-contamination of surfaces as staff must frequently change linens or clean bedding on these beds.

Poor Toilet Sanitation

Toilets present a significant challenge because of poor sanitation and maintenance. The CDC reports a significant number of inpatient facilities have poorly sanitized toilets. Contamination of these surfaces can be spread between patients and other areas in the facility.

Misuse Of Handwash Sinks

Handwashing stations are in important tool in fighting infections and cross contamination.  However they can also be are a central focus of environmental contamination in healthcare facilities. There can be a significant amount of bacterial contamination that occurs on these sinks. Therefore, cross-contamination is risky between areas without proper cleaning and disinfection.

Hospital Waste Management

Finally, hospital waste management presents particular risks to environmental hygiene. Healthcare facilities dispose of their used items in many ways. The inappropriate handling of these items can lead to toxic pathogens, which may be dangerous to patients.

What Are The CDC Guidelines For Hospital Disinfection?

Infection control in hospitals is critical to preventing organisms from infecting patients. This includes the disinfection of surfaces touched by the hands or clothing of healthcare personnel, patients, or visitors to prevent disease transmission.

There are guidelines developed by the federal government and the CDC which require hospitals to disinfect their patient rooms after each day. The guidelines state that room surfaces, such as floors, walls, and toilets, should be disinfected with a recommended detergent solution every 24 hours. Additionally, healthcare facilities should perform surface disinfection of rooms where patients change linens or bedding frequently.

How Do You Perform Disinfection?

The CDC guidelines recommend that healthcare facilities disinfect their patient rooms using a multi‐component, antimicrobial system to remove bacteria resistant to antibiotics that can cause infection. The recommended EPA approved product for these surfaces is Oxydiff.

Why Use Oxydiff?

The chemical solution is a broad-spectrum disinfection EPA approved to kill C. diff spores in 2 minutes and an extremely wide range of other organisms, including viruses, fungi, and molds. The solution is also non-corrosive and is rinse-free after application. It allows for efficient disinfection because it is easy to apply with a sprayer, mop, or cloth. It costs about the same as other disinfectants but may be cheaper because its ease of application reduces personnel labor time.

Why Is Environmental Disinfection Critical To The Success Of Hospital Acquired Infections Prevention?

Environmental disinfection is critical to the success of Hospital Acquired Infections prevention because it reduces the overall cross-contamination within a given facility and thereby helps prevent the transmission of infectious organisms in healthcare facilities. In addition, it is also critical because it contributes to a cleaner environment and better patient health outcomes.

Hospital Acquired Infections Prevention Conclusion

Hospital Acquired infections are costly to hospitals and healthcare systems because they negatively impact patient care, patient satisfaction, staff turnover, and device failure rates. Hospitals must prioritize environmental disinfection in light of rising costs and potential loss associated with HAIs.

Breathable Repositioning Sheets improve patient care and can remain under patients
CategoriesSlings and Lifts

Single Patient Use Slings Improve Patient Care

Reduce injuries and improve patient care with SPH Medical's single patient use air transfer mattress

Single Patient Use Slings and Repositioning Sheets in Hospitals

Single-patient use (SPU) slings are disposable accessories used with patient lift systems in hospitals and nursing homes to lift, move, and transfer patients. These slings are designed for single patient use and are an essential tool in reducing the risk of cross-contamination and the transmission of infections between patients and overall improving patient care.  Although they are only assigned to and used by one patient, they can often be used multiple times throughout the patients’ length of stay.

Repositioning sheets are disposable accessories used in hospitals to assist with moving and transferring patients. These sheets are designed to provide additional support and stability during patient transfers and can be used with single-patient use (SPU) slings or other lifting equipment.

Repositioning Sheets Help Improve Patient Care

Repositioning sheets can provide additional support and stability for patients, making it easier for healthcare staff to move them safely and comfortably. One of the main benefits of repositioning sheets is the reduced risk of injury to healthcare workers. Lifting and transferring patients can be physically demanding, and the use of appropriate equipment can help to prevent injuries.

Repositioning sheets can be particularly useful for patients who may be bed bound and can’t move or reposition themselves in bed without assistance. These sheets can provide a comfortable and breathable surface for patients to lie on, making it easier for them to be repositioned or turned as needed with the use of mobile lifts or ceiling lifts.

In addition to reducing the risk of injury to nurses, repositioning sheets can also help improve patients’ skin care by improving the frequency of repositioning patients in bed. By enabling patients to be turned every two hours and boosted up in bed with ease, these sheets can help to prevent the development of pressure ulcers and other complications associated with prolonged bed rest.

There are several benefits to using SPU slings and repositioning sheets in hospitals and nursing homes. One of the main advantages is infection control. Reusable slings can harbor bacteria and other pathogens, even after proper cleaning and disinfection. Using disposable slings reduces the risk of cross-contamination and the transmission of infections between patients.

One of the main advantages of using SPU slings is the ease of managing inventory and ordering. These slings can be easily tracked and kept in stock, ensuring they are always available when needed. In contrast, reusable slings must be cleaned and disinfected after each use, which can be time-consuming and may result in delays if laundered slings are not immediately available.

Another benefit of SPU slings is the reduced risk of injury to healthcare workers. Lifting and transferring patients can be physically demanding, and appropriate lifting equipment is essential to prevent injuries. Reusable slings may become worn or damaged over time, increasing the risk of injury to nurses and other healthcare staff.  Replacing launderable slings that have gone missing can be expensive and often requires a large capital budget and lengthy approval process.  In contrast, SPU slings can be quickly and easily replaced, ensuring that patients are always supported safely and securely.

Disposable Slings Improve Patient Care and reduce cross contamination

Injury prevention is a critical concern for hospitals and nursing homes, as the cost of a nursing injury can be high. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a nursing injury’s direct and indirect costs can range from $5,500 to $40,000 per incident. Using slings in combination with the appropriate patient lift equipment, hospitals and nursing homes can help reduce the risk of injuries to their staff and minimize the associated costs.

SPH Medical Improving Patient Care

SPH Medical offers an extensive portfolio of SPU slings compatible with mobile and overhead patient lift systems. These slings are available in various sizes and styles to meet the needs of different patients and care settings. In addition, SPH Medical offers a breathable repositioning sheet that can be used for repositioning patients up in bed for extended periods, up to every two hours.

Using disposable slings and repositioning sheets can be a cost-effective and safe solution for hospitals and nursing homes looking to lift, move, and transfer patients. By reducing the risk of cross-contamination and injury, these products can help to improve patient care and reduce costs associated with hospital-acquired infections and nursing injuries.

Improve patient care with SPH Medical Single Patient Use disposable slings

If you are interested in learning more about single-patient use (SPU) slings and repositioning sheets for use in hospitals and nursing homes, we encourage you to visit SPH Medical. SPH Medical is a leading provider of safe patient handling and mobility solutions, with an extensive portfolio of products designed to improve patient care and safety.

The SPH Medical Rowalker supports Early and Progressive Mobility
Categoriesearly mobility

Early and Progressive Mobility Essentials

Although there are cases where a patient leaving bed is not possible for a variety of reasons, in the majority of cases, encouraging a patient to become mobile is beneficial. Early and progressive mobility essentials are beneficial for both the patient’s physical healing and mental well-being.

Getting patients out of bed early in the healing process reduces:

  • The length of time a patient must be mechanically ventilated
  • The overall length of stay in the intensive-care unit
  • Short-term complications
  • Long-term physical and mental disabilities

Patients also won’t need as many sedatives when they ambulate, and any sedatives they need, for whatever reason, will not be at high dosages. Too, helping a patient be mobile is a bonding process between not only the patient and the staff but also between staff members, which can only improve the level of care. Such improvement is not limited to that of the patient in question, either, as the bonding between the various staff members will affect every patient who is under their care.

In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine published Hodgson et al., a study on the positive impact of early mobility on elderly patients who had been mechanically ventilated. The mobilized patients exhibited higher scores on the Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale than those who were not mobile. They also lived longer post-discharge than those who could not become mobile.

Some other evidence based benefits of early mobility on patients after discharge include the following:

  • More than a third of patients avoided ICU-Acquired Weakness.
  • If a patient experienced ICU-Acquired Delirium, the duration of such delirium was 50% shorter than in those patients who were not mobile.
  • Patients required 10% less time on a ventilator.
  • More than 50% of patients were independently functional post-discharge.
  • One in eight patients who would have otherwise died survived.

Progressive Mobility Essentials For New Patient Mobility Strategies

Aside from the multidisciplinary approach, there are other strategies for hospital staff regarding early patient mobility. They must assess each patient individually and realize that not every patient will be able to be mobile. Even if a patient cannot get out of bed, for example, there are things that the patient can do with a nurse or physical therapist while remaining in bed. Exercises, turning to different positions to avoid bedsores, and just sitting up can work wonders.

Safety is also obviously a concern. A patient might be willing, but the parameters of the case might make it impossible for the person to be safely mobile. Also, even though you might adopt general safety criteria, each case requires well-reasoned decision making regarding mobility. This highlights the great strength of the multidisciplinary strategy. Throughout the team, there will be enough experience and expertise to make the right decisions regarding early patient mobility.

The Banner Mobility Assessment Tool, or BMAT, as is is now known, is a common tool that is used to asses the mobility level of a patient by going through some simple functional tests. The test are fairly simple but yield validated results. The nurse will have the patient sit and shake, stretch and point, stand, then walk. After going through the BMAT assessment the patient is given a BMAT level, 1, 2, 3, or 4. If after the level 3 standing test the patient can bear weight but if any assistive device (cane, walker, crutches) is needed, patient is determined to be Mobility Level 3, and the appropriate assistive tool should be selected. A validated Nursing mobility assessment is often the cornerstone of a sustainable program. As part of California’s AB1136 (CA LC 6403.5) legislative requirements, a validated patient mobility assessment tool provides valuable documentation about patient mobility status and communication between staff.The Banner Mobility Assessment tool provides validated results

The RoWalker for Early and Progressive Mobility Essentials

After assessing the patients’ mobility level, one of the best ways to get a patient up and moving as part of a safe patient handling program is to use a sturdy and stable platform walker, such as the SPH Medical RoWalker. This kind of walker is the best choice because it has wheels with directional casters and brakes on the wheels. With these features,
the nurse or therapist can safely get a patient standing at bedside with the brakes on, or walk the length of a hallway without drifting from side to side, a key benefit of the directional casters.

Additionally, having a rolling walker with the proper attachments makes it a snap to attach IV bags, various monitors, and even an oxygen tank to it. That way, the patient can get all the benefits of mobility without having to leave vital devices behind. A SPH Medical RoWalker also has a basket attached to the front so that some of this critical care equipment can go with the patient as they progress, move further away from bedside, and take steps towards recovery.

References:

https://www.ahrq.gov/hai/tools/mvp/modules/technical/intro-early-mobility-fac-guide.html
https://www.medtronic.com/covidien/en-us/clinical-solutions/icu-early-mobility/about.html
https://ccforum.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13054-021-03741-z

Avoid risk of injury during epidurals by using the EPD
CategoriesPatient Handling

Safety Standards Improved During Epidurals

Epidural positioning devices are making it much easier, more comfortable, and safer for patients while also improving safety for and medical professionals during epidurals or spinal blocks. Whether it’s a soon-to-be mother in the labor and delivery unit or a patient being prepped for a total knee replacement in the surgery department, an epidural chair can make all of the difference.

What is an Epidural Positioning Device?

Known as an EPD for short, this medical device is intended to help optimally position a patient in the ideal position to administer spinal anesthesia. The epidural chair places patients in a seated, well-supported, forward leaning position to promote easy access to the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical areas of the spine. It provides an adequate level of support for patients of all different sizes and weights. This flexed spine position enables optimal access for the anesthesiologist.

What Makes an EPD Great for Patients Epidurals and Spinal Blocks?

Patients who opt for epidural pain relief can greatly benefit from having their epidural administered while they’re in an epidural chair. Traditionally, patients are supported via a stack of pillows propped up on a bedside table with wheels that don’t lock and are held in place by nurses. While this offers some level of support, patients feel more comfortable being supported by a solid chair structure.

If a patient faints or moves unintentionally, without using the EPD, the nurse has to catch the falling patient. The epidural chair provides the necessary safety and support for the patient and eliminates the manual handling required by nurses. Of course the EPD prevents them from falling to the floor and become injured. This makes using these chairs the best way to offer optimal safety for patients who are undergoing an epidural in the labor and delivery unit or a spinal block in the surgery department.

How are EPDs Beneficial to Medical Staff That Perform Epidurals?

Traditionally, patients who need to undergo epidural pain relief will require multiple nurses to hold them in place during the procedure. Nurses have to bear the weight of the patient and be capable of quickly responding to any unexpected responses, like fainting or jolting movements.

This puts nurses at risk for minor and severe musculoskeletal injuries. An epidural positioning device works to take that strain off of the nursing staff and allows the chair itself to support the majority of the patient’s weight. This means fewer nurses are needed to handle the patient during this particular medical procedure. The fewer nurses involved, the more efficiently the nursing staff can work to provide patient care to all patients on the unit. The EPD provides a new standard of safety in the hospital. With the EPD nurses can work more efficiently in a repeatable process that improves both nursing safety and patient safety.

More Epidural Pain Relief Will Be Requested by Patients

As researchers commonly pour through statistics to learn more about spinal anesthesia techniques and trends that lead to improved patient outcomes, one fact has become increasingly clear. According to a published medical article in Anesthesiology, the number of women who opt for epidurals during delivery has increased significantly by 10% from 2008 to 2018.

It’s commonly thought that the rise in patient education about the birthing process has led many pregnant women to ask for this form of spinal pain relief. As education levels continue to rise, it’s predicted that the percentage of women opting for epidurals during delivery is going to increase even more.

With more epidurals being requested for birthing deliveries and spinal blocks for specialized ortho surgeries, it’s more important than ever before to invest in an EPD. This medical device will go a long way in creating a safer environment for both your patients and nurses alike.Improve patient safety with EPD

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