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Establishing a physical therapist-driven model of safe patient handling and movement programs in a general hospital

Establishing a physical therapist-driven model of safe patient handling and movement programs in a general hospital

Work 45(2): 147-160

Healthcare workers are at great risk for musculoskeletal injuries related to ergonomic risk work factors. Patient handling tasks such as transfers and bed positioning pose the highest risk. This report describes the implementation of a physical therapist-driven model of ergonomic intervention in a general hospital in Israel. A group of senior physical therapists undertook the lead role in implementing an ergonomics program on four hospital wards. After participating in an extensive ergonomics training program, the therapists were guided through the process of risk analysis and program formation tailored to four pilot wards. Four interdisciplinary ergonomic teams were established. The teams will define their ongoing role in coordinating and implementing ergonomics activities in the future. Short-term outcomes include the advancement of ergonomics knowledge and awareness among therapy and nursing staffs, and recognition of therapists' role in healthcare ergonomics, as well as the establishment of four interdisciplinary ergonomics teams. The long-term outcome will be the maintenance of team activities over time, including repeated surveys of staff attitudes and practices, which have been positively correlated with reductions in musculoskeletal injury rates. This model of intensive involvement of therapists within multidisciplinary ergonomics programs may serve as a protocol for further projects in healthcare settings.

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Accession: 053032712

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23324691

DOI: 10.3233/wor-121526

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