Safe Patient Handling and Health Care Reform: An Opportunity to Link Patient and Worker



With the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (PPACA), the US healthcare system has an opportunity to establish a standard for safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) throughout the country. The establishment of national patient safety and quality goals shifts the focus from a fee-for-service for individual patient care to bundled payments for population health management. The focus is to manage the population’s health by providing a continuum of care that prevents the development of the high cost of chronic disease. Healthcare institutions recognize it’s a “pay-now-or-pay-later” scenario and are shifting the way they provide health care. Safe patient handling and mobility fits perfectly into this model. Implementing an SPHM program will provide quality care for the patient, reduce risk of harm for patients and employees, and, simultaneously, prevent the employees from future risk of developing a musculoskeletal disease. This level of quality care is highlighted in The Joint Commission report Improving Patient and Worker Safety: Opportunities for Synergy, Collaboration and Innovation. This report focuses on increasing awareness of patient and employee health and safety.

Nelson K

Keywords: safe patient  handling and mobility, health care reform, safety standards

One time download – from March 2015 issue