HOVERTECH International

Let’s talk about a Culture of Safety

By: Cynthia Sylvia, D NURS, MSc, MA, RN, CWCN

Dear Caregiver,

I’d like to briefly introduce myself – My name is Cindy and I’m a nurse consultant working alongside HoverTech. My background is in wound care with a certification from the Wound Ostomy Continence Certification Board, and I am a long-standing member of the WOCN Society.  I have practiced in a variety of roles, so it gives me great pleasure to be able to share and connect with you using this platform.

If you are a nurse at the bedside, you have probably heard a lot about Safe patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) and much about Pressure Injury Prevention (PIP).  You might be wondering how they relate and what they mean for you as a caregiver.  Perhaps you’re questioning how your practice is impacted by both of those initiatives, and if there’s any overlap between them in relation to the nursing actions that you perform daily.  You might’ve heard the term “high reliability organization.”  What do you think “reliability” really means? I’d like to take the next several blogs in this series to explore these questions. I hope you find some value in this discussion.

Let’s begin with defining each of these terms. SPHM is defined by the American Nurses Association (ANA) as a set of initiatives that prevent unnecessary injury and keep both patients and nurses safe.  Through programs and advocacy, ANA is working toward establishing a safe environment with the goal of complete elimination of manual patient handling. The use of technology is critical to the success of these programs.



Timely Repositioning After Sliding Down in Bed is Critical to Pressure Injury Prevention

By Isabelle Werkheiser, VP of Marketing & Business Development, HoverTech International

Head of bed (HOB) elevation is generally indicated to provide comfort to the patient and reduce the risk of aspiration. The challenge for patient care is that the HOB elevation creates gravity forces causing the patient to slide down in bed.
As this occurs, the total contact area of the patient decreases, resulting in increases in pressure most notably in the sacral area and heels.
A study comparing pressure distribution with four different positions in bed was conducted at Weber State University. The study concluded the following as the patient slides down in bed.

  1. “Patients’ weight shifts causing their Total Contact Area with the surface to decrease
  2. A decrease in Total Contact Area results in an increase in pressures, peak pressures and peak pressure indices in the sacral area and heels
  3. As the patient’s feet contact the footboard, their knees bend resulting in significant pressure increase on their heels
  4. As the patient’s knees bend, their body rotates onto their side, increasing pressure in their trochanter area
  5. It is highly likely that the above phenomena will contribute to a higher incidence of pressure ulcer development”1

Reducing sliding and frequent boosting, while reducing friction and shear forces are the ideal patient care goals. One solution is to use an air-assisted transfer device that can be left under the patient for all-day care. When boosting with air-assisted friction-reducing devices (FRDs), the patient does not have to be lifted.  Rather, they are boosted on a cushion of air that reduces both friction and shear forces on the patient’s skin as well as the pull force for the caregiver.


My Experience: Hospitals and Safe Patient Handling & Mobility

By Kent Wilson, CIE, CSPHP

As I work with various hospitals across the country, facility administrators often ask me, “Why don’t the caregivers use the equipment provided to move their patients?” My response is simple, “Why doesn’t your facility require staff to use the equipment?”


4 Steps for Starting a Safe Patient Handling & Mobility Program

By Patti Wawzyniecki, MS, CSPHP

Like all important projects, groundwork needs to be completed before you begin asking for equipment and resources. Here are the 4 steps you need to take to successfully begin a Safe Patient Handling & Mobility (SPHM) program within your organization.





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