Patient Mechanical Lift Handling Equipment

Patient Mechanical Lift Handling Equipment: Introduction


Patient handling and movement in healthcare facilities poses signification risks of injuries to both patients and caregivers. According to studies, patient handling tasks are responsible for a substantial number of injuries reported annually by healthcare workers. Mechanical lifts play a vital role in reducing injuries by assisting caregivers to transfer, reposition and mobilise patients safely and efficiently. This article discusses various types of patient lift handling equipment available in the market and how they help prevent injuries.

Types of Patient Lifts
There are different types of mechanical lifts designed specifically for different patient handling needs:

Ceiling Lifts
Ceiling lifts are installed permanently above the patient’s bed or chair. They have a lifting arm that extends from the ceiling and a sling that attaches to the patient. Caregivers can lift, transfer or reposition patients safely using a handheld pendant. Ceiling lifts take the weight off caregivers and significantly reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. They promote patient safety as slings provide full-body support during transfers.

Floor-Based Lifts
Floor-based lifts such as sit-to-stand lifts, stand assist lifts and full-body sling lifts are portable devices that can be wheeled to the patient’s location. They have raising and lowering mechanisms to help patients move between surfaces of different heights like beds, chairs and commodes. Some floor lifts are equipped with scale and battery backup for safety during power outages.

Stand-up Lifts
Stand-up lifts are used to assist patients in standing up from a seated position in chairs or on beds. They feature a stand-up sling that attaches to an arm of the lift. Caregivers gently raise patients into a standing position and guide them to a walker or wheelchair with minimal physical effort. Stand-up lifts promote mobility and independence in patients.

Pool Lifts
Pool lifts are specifically designed for safe ingress and egress of patients in therapy pools. They mitigate safety risks by gently lowering patients into the pool on a sling seat attached to a mechanical boom. Powered pool lifts are essential rehabilitation aids for facilities with aquatic therapy programs.

Benefits of Patient Lifts
The appropriate use of Patient Mechanical Lift Handling Equipment devices offer numerous benefits to both patients and caregivers:

Lifts take the physical strain off caregivers by handling the actual lifting and transferring tasks. They significantly reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries like back strains which are highly prevalent in healthcare. Patient lifts also promote patient safety by providing full-body support during movements.

Independence and Mobility
Certain lifts empower patients by helping them move independently with minimal assistance. Stand-up lifts, for example, play a key role in facilitating mobility and preventing functional decline. They promote patients’ active participation in their care plans.

Improved Working postures
By eliminating manual lifting, lifts encourage caregivers to adopt proper ergonomic postures during transfers. They prevent twisting, over-reaching and other incorrect postures that can lead to long-term injuries.

Efficiency and Workflow
Mechanical lifts streamline patient handling processes, thereby improving workflow and efficiency. Caregivers can quickly mobilise multiple patients with reduced physical effort. This free up more time for direct patient care activities.

The use of lifts demonstrates a healthcare organisation’s commitment towards safety regulations. They help achieve compliance with handling guidelines mandated by occupational safety laws. This supports litigation risk management as well.

Benefits for Facility
Investing in appropriate lifting equipment offers several indirect benefits to healthcare facilities as well:

Reduced Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Costs
Lifts lower the financial burden ofmusculoskeletal injury claims, lost work hours, replacement staff hiring and treatment costs. Studies show they provide significant returns in medical cost savings over time.

Improved Staff Morale and Retention
Equipping caregivers with lifting aids fosters a safe, injury-free work environment. This positively impacts recruitment and retention of staff by boosting workplace satisfaction and morale.

Positive Public Image
Promoting patient and staff safety through technology reflects a facility’s high quality of care standards. This strengthens its reputation and assists in customer acquisition.

Return on Investment
While patient lift systems involve sizeable upfront capital, the long-term reductions in injuries and associated expenses outweigh the costs. Various studies prove their positive return on investment within 2-4 years of implementation.

Manual patient handling can severely impact caregiver health and patient safety outcomes. Mechanical lift systems help overcome these risks by safely automating high-risk tasks. When used appropriately as part of an overall safe patient handling program, they offer myriad benefits for individuals as well as healthcare organisations. Widespread adoption of lifting equipment perfectly aligns with an facilities’ duty of care towards patients and staff alike.