Long-Term Effects of Safe Patient Handling Program on Staff Injuries

Authors

  • Jennifer L. Theis MS, OTR/L,

    Corresponding author
    1. Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health, Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
    • Correspondence

      Jennifer L. Theis, Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health, 800 East 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407. E-mail: Jennifer.Theis@allina.com

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  • Marsha J. Finkelstein MS

    1. Sister Kenny Research Center, Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
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Abstract

Purpose

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a safe patient handling program (STEPS) at an inpatient rehabilitation unit in reducing injury due to patient transfers. Our objectives were to compare number of staff injuries during the 1.5-year period post training to pre training (baseline) and to determine whether reduction in injuries was sustained long term during a 2.5-year post training period.

Methods

All nursing and therapy staff as well as new hires received STEPS training. Periodic retraining was not provided.

Findings

The number of injuries was significantly reduced at post training compared to baseline (p = 0.01). However, the reductions in injuries were not sustained long term.

Conclusion

We estimated a cost benefit of $3.71 for every dollar invested in retraining based on injury reduction realized during the post training period.

Clinical Relevance

Retraining is likely to have a positive cost benefit when it results in maintaining reduction in staff injuries.

Ancillary