In recent years, the way nurses and other hospital staff lift and handle patients has changed. Lifting devices are now common on hospital wards and the rate and severity of injuries have decreased. Despite these improvements, muscular skeletal injuries remain a global healthcare workforce problem.
Healthcare staff such as orderlies, porters, or ward staff, continue to experience high rates of injury. In most hospitals, orderlies use physical strength to push hospital beds as they transport patients long distances from wards, to services like radiology or operating theatres. Injury rates are high, fatigue common and morale often low.
But this is not the case everywhere. Some hospitals are now reducing injuries by introducing electric bed movers. These are power assisted devices that attach to hospital beds and allow a person to move and manoeuvre a heavy bed with minimal effort.
The Queen Adelaide Hospital (TQEH) in South Australia has been using electric bed movers to transfer patients since 2003. In the first year of use they saw a significant decline in injury. By 2005, the hospital had enough bed movers, 19 for the 340 bed hospital, to virtually eliminate the practice of manual bed pushing. Bed moving related injuries were reduced to zero.
According to Eric Hofmanis, former senior occupational health and safety advisor at TQEH, the hospital has maintained zero injuries for more than six years. Instead of decreasing the need for staff, use of bed movers has significantly increased productivity.
So why don’t more hospitals do this? The reason is that most hospitals use beds and stretchers from several different manufacturers. There are 27 acute hospital bed manufacturers in Europe alone. Until now, this has meant that no single bed mover solution could address all of a hospital’s needs.
Now that a universal bed mover is available, this is all set to change. Even hospitals with beds and stretchers from multiple manufacturers can now eliminate the dangerous practice of manual bed pushing.
Australian company StaminaLift, is the first to offer a universal electric bed mover. Their StaminaLift TS5000 Patient Transfer System is rapidly gaining acceptance at hospitals in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.
The StaminaLift TS5000 connects to 95% of acute care hospital beds and stretchers including models from global suppliers like Stryker, Hill-Rom, Linet, and ArjoHuntleigh. To illustrate this, the company has published a photo gallery showing the TS5000 connected to a variety of beds found in hospitals all over the globe.