New program launched to enhance patient safety and reduce workplace injuries

Henry Ford Hospital has partnered with Atlas Lift Tech, Inc. and Arjo Diligent Clinical Consultants to launch a program aimed at enhancing the safety of patients and team members.

The program, named Project Mobility: How Motown Moves, was implemented with Henry Ford's focus on safety, continual improvement, and innovation in mind. Project Mobility includes the installation of active lifts, passive lifts, ceiling lifts, lateral transfer and repositioning tools that will stay in each unit of Henry Ford Hospital. This will build upon Henry Ford's existing patient and employee safety protocols, such as its routine patient mobility training for staff and the investigation of any incidents that result in injury. Nursing and other hospital leaders use the results of these investigations to determine how the incidents can be prevented from reoccurring in the future.

Project Mobility includes the use of Arjo devices, Atlas' data tracking software and on-site Mobility Coaches integrated in the hospital, and Arjo Diligent Clinical Consulting to assist with patient handling and mobilization.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single greatest risk factor for overexertion injuries in healthcare workers is the manual lifting, moving and repositioning of patients. Rates of musculoskeletal injuries from overexertion in healthcare occupations are among the highest of all U.S. industries.

In 2019, the most recent year for which Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data are available, there were 20,150 incidents of occupational injuries and illnesses requiring registered nurses in the United States to miss work, with eight days being the median number of days missed that year due to these incidents. This represents a slight increase over 2018, during which the BLS reported 20,040 incidents with the median number of days missed being seven days.

Support from healthcare workers is a critical part of preventing patient falls in hospitals, and the use of mobilization equipment can improve safety of this support for both the patient and staff member. Nationally, more than 700,000 patients fall in hospitals each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Research shows that close to one-third of falls can be prevented by managing a patient's underlying fall risk factors and optimizing a hospital's physical design and environment, according to AHRQ.

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