Blazing a New Trail: Advocacy for Safe Patient Handling and Mobility



We have witnessed an ever-increasing body of evidence supporting an ergonomic approach to patient handling and mobility activities. However, widespread adoption of these evidence-based strategies in our healthcare systems is lacking. Healthcare practitioners using antiquated practices and beliefs continue to be injured while manually handling patients. We have come to a point in the safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) evolution when a new generation of leaders needs to lead society to the ultimate goal of establishing a culture of safety for both patients and providers in all healthcare settings. The present landscape for the growth and development of SPHM is promising; however, without a clear, comprehensive, and timely advocacy plan, little change is anticipated. The purposes of this article are to summarize the evidence that supports the use of safe patient handling and mobility practices, review the present state of the legislative and policy landscape, and provide guidance on the development of an advocacy plan to establish a local, state, or national policy agenda for safe patient handling and movement.

Harwood K

Keywords: safe patient handling and mobility, advocacy, legislation

One time download – from March 2015 issue