Economic Impact of a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) System on Staff and Safety in a Long Term Acute Care Unit


Nurses and Nursing Assistants consistently rank in the top 5-10 of occupations that suffer the most musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) injuries.1 Injuries related to patient handling result in 31% to 66% of the MSD injuries that afflict nursing staff.2 Currently, eleven states including California, are mandated to implement Safe Patient Handling Mobility(SPHM), which includes provision of technology to aide in the movement, transfer and positioning of patients.3 In 2011, the cost of a patient handling injury claim averaged $15,600.00 (modified duty, not including litigation) per episode nation-wide.4 Research shows that a comprehensive SPHM program reduces workers’ compensation claims and associated costs by 30-40%.

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