Safe patient handling (SPH): Propose a quality improvement initiative from your place of employment

Safe patient handling (SPH): Propose a quality improvement initiative from your place of employment.
The purpose of the overall quality improvement initiatives is the improvement of the quality of care in healthcare facilities and the overall patient outcome. Maintaining utmost service delivery can only be achieved through ensuring the patient and staff environment is favourable and conducive. One of the ways of facilitating a safe and conducive environment for the staff members is through ensuring safe patient handling (SPH). A healthy work environment is directly related to good patient outcomes in all facilities. Various studies have been conducetd on the issue of SPH.
Safe patient handling (SPH): Propose a quality improvement initiative from your place of employment

The results have portrayed that many nurses and hospital staff members that directly deal with the patients are at an increased risk of developing career ending injuries and lifelong injuries through the movement and lifting of patients (Larkins et al.,2016). Thus, it is vital that strategies become developed to help curb the developed problems and promote longer years of service for the nurses. The traditional common strategies of patient transfers have been ineffective in prevention of the injuries as they are physically demanding. Some of the practices that have been applied include; patient lift up teams, body mechanics classes, and back belts.

The target population or audience

The quality improvement initiative is targeted at the eradication of common accidents that cause permanent physical damage to the patients. Thus, the information relayed is targeted to touch the administration and other superior members of staff to influence the introduction of new strategies and policies that can favour the common registered nurse (RN) and other patient support staff members. Additionally, the RNs are also part of the targeted audience as they should be educated on how they can improve patient handling and manage the common problems that develop during normal routine (Balasubramanian 2015). Being an issue that directly affects the nurses and other staff members, the patients and non-practitioners are of minimal concern on the related matters.

Benefits of the quality improvement initiative

            According to statistics, the department of health and social assistance (HCSA) employs approximately 11% of the total work force in the United States. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data has explained that the work related injuries and illnesses for both the health workers and the social support workers has doubled as compared to the average risk associated in the other work industries. Hence, the organizations have focused on understanding the factors that are associated with the increased health and accident risks. The major problem has been the increase in the lifting demand for the patients in the hospital and according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) the maximal weight limit for lifting in the health system is 35pounds which has been exceeded in many of the facilities.

Many healthcare practitioners have developed severe work related musculoskeletal disorders and thus, the American Nurses Association has eliminated the use of manual patient handling (Vindrola-Padros et al.,2017). Hence, there are several benefits that are associated with safe patient handling programs in healthcare. Some of the advantages include; there is reduction of injury risks among the nurses and the patients as well, there is improvement in service delivery and the quality of care, improved nursing recruitment and retention within the work areas, there is more professional satisfaction among the nurses and they are proud of their occupation, there are fewer patient pressure ulcers and injurious falls, an increase in the satisfaction of the patient and the nurse, and a reduction in the cost of care due to reduced cases of falls.

Inter-professional collaboration required to implement the initiative

Health and medical researchers are primarily required to provide adequate data and statistics that necessitate the need for the quality improvement program. The hospital administration and senior management is responsible for the implementation of the new policies and regulations that support the new initiatives. Additionally, the government and other medical stakeholders are responsible for the facilitation of new equipment and mechanical technology for the lifting of the patients (Gleeson et al.,2016). The nursing educators and facilitators play the role of educating all the RNs on the proper techniques for patient lifting and handling to prevent injuries. Unit champions and departmental heads are primal in ensuring the new methods are implemented in their respective areas. Thus, all members of the nursing fraternity are required to initiate the newly acquired techniques in handling of the patients.

The cost/ budget justification

            The full cost for execution of Incline over a period of two years (2020–20122), counting specialists and unused contracts, extended from $44 million CAD to $49.6 million CAD, depending upon the presumptions utilized. Specialist costs accounted for near to 50% of the entire quality improvement program. The assessed aspects took a toll of Incline occasions alone extended from $16 million CAD to $19.5 million CAD, with Quick Prepare Change Workshops requiring the most noteworthy input of resources.

Evaluation of the quality improvement initiative

            The improvement of quality standards within healthcare has been a compulsory measure against which to ensure positive progress in care of patients. There are several approaches and means through which the assessment and evaluation of progress can be determined (Burstin & Leatherman 2016). However, the most common is the use of quality assessment tools such as the Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) that provides a guideline for evaluation based on the rational for the improvement approach, address of the various contextual issues, and the final results of the whole project.


Balasubramanian, B. A., Cohen, D. J., Davis, M. M., Gunn, R., Dickinson, L. M., Miller, W. L., … & Stange, K. C. (2015). Learning evaluation: blending quality improvement and     implementation research methods to study healthcare innovations. Implementation            Science, 10(1), 31.

Burstin, H., Leatherman, S., & Goldmann, D. (2016). The evolution of healthcare quality measurement in the United States. Journal of internal medicine, 279(2), 154-159.

Gleeson, H., Calderon, A., Swami, V., Deighton, J., Wolpert, M., & Edbrooke-Childs, J. (2016). Systematic review of approaches to using patient experience data for quality     improvement in healthcare settings. BMJ open, 6(8), e011907.

Larkins, S., Woods, C. E., Matthews, V., Thompson, S. C., Schierhout, G., Mitropoulos, M., …    & Bailie, R. S. (2016). responses of aboriginal and Torres strait islander Primary health-      care services to continuous Quality improvement initiatives. Frontiers in public health, 3, 288.

Vindrola-Padros, C., Pape, T., Utley, M., & Fulop, N. J. (2017). The role of embedded research   in quality improvement: a narrative review. BMJ Qual Saf, 26(1), 70-80.