Standardized Use of Safe Patient Handling Equipment in the ICU: A Unit-Based Quality Improvement Project


One time download – from December 2014 issue



The purpose of this quality improvement project was to improve use of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) equipment within one adult intensive care unit (ICU). The FOCUS-PDCA (find-organize-clarify-uncover-select-plan-do-check-act) model was used to guide the improvement project. Two PDCA cycles were completed. The first PDCA cycle focused on increasing bedside equipment availability, and observations demonstrated no change in use of SPHM equipment. The second PDCA cycle focused on standardizing the room setup, and observations demonstrated a 120% increase  in SPHM equipment use. Only adding SPHM equipment did not increase use. A standardized room outfitted with readily available equipment increased use of equipment and reduced caregiver injury during the study period. Involvement of staff in multiple PDCA cycles was instrumental in accurately understanding root causes and developing a culture of consistent SPHM equipment use.

Krupp A, Anderson B

Keywords: safe patient handling, equipment accessibility, ICU