Connecticut Hospital Raises Safe Lifting Awareness with Distinctive Logos
September 18, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsFarmington, Conn. & Franklin, Mass. – September 18, 2006 - At the University of Connecticut Health Center’s John Dempsey Hospital, a 225 bed facility in Farmington, Conn., safe patient lifting is a safety priority for caregivers and patients alike. According to Patti Wawzyniecki, Industrial Hygienist and Ergonomist at the Health Center, communication is a key aspect in raising awareness of the importance of safe lifting.
“The Safe Patient Handling committee and our nurse managers distribute the latest in safe patient handling news to staff through a variety of avenues. They place fliers in caregiver mail boxes, post notices, and discuss safe lifting topics at department meetings,” said Wawzyniecki.
One of the most crucial safe lifting initiatives at Dempsey Hospital was the creation of the facility wide safe lifting program, called “Safe Patient Handling: Together Everyone Achieves Mobility Safely (T.E.A.M.S.).” Established two years ago, the program is currently in the process of being phased into every department at the hospital.
Recently, Wawzyniecki, who coordinates the Safe Patient Handling program, was introduced to Liko’s Safe Lifting Environment public awareness campaign. The campaign, available at www.SafeLiftingPortal.com, provides free safe patient lifting information to healthcare facilities in an effort to reduce caregiver injuries.
Wawzyniecki has found that ubiquitous use of the Safe Lifting Environment logo is instrumental in reminding staff to consistently move patients correctly.
“Thanks to the free access and availability of the Safe Lifting Environment logo, we have integrated it into our facility-wide program,” she said. “And, we have found it to be extremely effective, especially since healthcare professionals are used to seeing posters and announcements on bulletin boards and walls everywhere. This logo is distinctive in shape and color so it is easily recognized and associated with safe lifting practices,” said Wawzyniecki.
For example, the Safe Lifting Environment logo is posted on a whiteboard next to every bed along with other important patient information like discharge time and telephone numbers. When a caregiver enters a room, they look to the Safe Lifting Environment logo on the whiteboard for details on which lift equipment should be used with that patient, stated Wawzyniecki.
All caregivers at Dempsey Hospital are required to participate in classroom training that includes safe handling. In the four hour class, Dempsey caregivers receive hands on equipment training and are educated on injury statistics, ergonomic principles, and how to assess a patients’ level of mobility. Wawzyniecki utilizes the Safe Lifting Environment injury prevention buttons to recognize employees that have completed the training class.
John Dempsey Hospital plans to continue expanding Safe Patient Handling to all departments and clinics with support and funding assistance from the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services Worker’s Compensation unit.
“We have already seen a significant reduction in the severity of lifting injuries as well as a reduction in loss of time,” she said. “Our future challenges will be to continuously increase the utilization of equipment and stay up to date on lifting technology.”
“Overall, our caregivers and patients alike have welcomed the safe lifting initiative, especially since they know that someone is watching out for their back - literally,” said Wawzyniecki.
The Safe Lifting Environment is part of a national public awareness campaign that is sponsored by Liko Inc., and available at www.SafeLiftingPortal.com. The campaign provides healthcare facilities with free safe patient lifting information, including an interactive online calculator that can estimate the potential financial benefits of safe patient handling equipment and injury prevention programs.
Liko is one of the world’s leading suppliers of patient lift and transfer solutions. The company’s products include mobile lifts, overhead ceiling mounted systems, and a variety of injury prevention solutions. For more information on Liko’s sponsorship of the Safe Lifting Portal, contact Liko Inc., 122 Grove Street, Franklin, MA 02038; telephone (888) 545-6671 or (508) 553-3993; fax (508) 528-6642; or visit the Liko website at www.liko.com.
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