Ask A Magnet Nurse: Phase II Of Lift Smart Program Expands Benefits For Patients And Nurses

Debra Johnson, RN, Clinical Manager, OR/SPD, St. Joseph’s Hospital

Smart Living: In 2011, St. Joseph’s/Candler implemented Lift Smart, a safe patient handling and movement program that resulted in a 38 percent decrease in patient handling injuries within its first year. What new changes have developed with the completion of this program’s Phase II?

Debra Johnson: On both campuses, 76 additional inpatient ceiling lifts were installed and we added mobile lift equipment such as the Titan, a moveable device capable of lifting up to 1000 pounds, and a Vehicle Extractor, capable of safely removing patients from their vehicles. Our rehabilitation unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital also installed a 60-foot patient walking track for use with a motorized ceiling lift called the Multiple Application Suspension System, or M.A.S.S., which allows patients to progress in their physical therapy faster and more safely.

Debra Johnson, RN SL: Have the operating rooms at St. Joseph’s/Candler received any new Lift Smart technology?

DJ: Yes, both campuses now have HoverMatt patient transfer systems in the OR. A HoverMatt is a mattress that, after being placed underneath the patient, fills up with air. It seems very simple yet it makes a world of difference. When transferring a patient from a bed to an OR stretcher, the nurse pulls the handles of the HoverMatt itself, and it feels like the patient is almost floating from one bed to the other. The straining and heavy lifting is reduced if not eliminated.

SL: The Lift Smart program has shown to reduce shoulder and back injuries for nurses, but how does technology such as the HoverMatt benefit patients?

DJ: It provides more safety and less discomfort. Using a traditional roller, especially with heavier patients, used to often require nurses to actually push on the patient. Now we can tuck the flat mattress underneath the patient, and once it is full of air, we are only pushing or pulling the HoverMatt. It is amazing how easily the mattress moves when it is full, even with a heavier patient.

SL: What feedback have you received from patients who have been moved with the HoverMatt?

DJ: Some patients have been a little nervous at first. We coach them through it, letting them know that the mattress beneath them is about to fill up quickly with air and make them feel like they are floating. Once patients realize how easy it is to move them from the bed to the stretcher or vice versa, they really like it. Just as with all our Lift Smart equipment, the HoverMatt helps nurses create a culture of safety and comfort for both their co-workers and their patients.    
  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000