When it comes to patient transfers, the healthcare system has still not seen the technological breakthrough that might be expected. This is despite a generally strong focus on using assistive technology when it comes to many other areas of healthcare. Is this an opportunity missed?
Although the human body is a powerful tool, patient transfers can place great strain on the carers musculoskeletal system. Assisted living technology such as powered turning aids can be used to reduce the risk of carer injury, while also providing many other benefits for both carers, patients and the economy.
Better Work Health and Safety
For employees who are directly involved in care and nursing work at hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities, powered turning aids can help improve the working environment. These key employees transfer and turn many clients throughout the day, and it is precisely these tasks with heavy lifting, pulling, and pushing, that are a major culprit when it comes to musculoskeletal problems.
The powered transfer device creates a better working environment and greater job satisfaction, among other things, simply because employees have less pain, are less physically stressed, and because their efficiency is improved. With the powered turn aid it is possible to work alone when turning or repositioning a client, meaning that it is not necessary to wait for a colleague. This allows caregivers to be more flexible and efficient with their time, and also frees up the other employee to focus on other care tasks.
Due to the major benefits for work health and safety, using a powered turn aid, can also have a positive effect on retaining and attracting employees to a career in healthcare and thereby help alleviate the major recruitment problem in the health and care sector.
For caregivers the main benefits are:
- Reduced strain on back, neck, arms, and shoulders
- Less fatigue during and after work
- Freedom and flexible to schedule own tasks
- Improved communication with clients when working alone
Improved Client Comfort
For clients and patients, manual transfer can be a cause of discomfort, pain, and sense of being a burden to others.
With a powered patient turning aid, many clients experience a more comfortable and gentle transfer, as they are not grabbed or pulled on, rather the transfer is smooth and similar from time to time, no matter who is turning the client. The turn aid also allows for a transfer free from sudden movements, as the system gently hugs and turns the client in one simple motion.
In cases where the caregiver is working alone with the client, studies have shown that the communication between client and caregiver is significantly improved, as the caregiver is not coordinating a task with a colleague but is more focused on the client. This has positive effects on the client’s wellbeing and dignity, as it makes them fell included in their own care.
Vendlet’s powered turning aid, has proven to be particularly suitable for people suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, clients with high levels of pain, clients in palliative care units, bariatric clients, and clients with disabilities that causes them to be immobile in varying degree.
For clients the main benefits are:
- Smooth and gentle transfer
- No pushing and pulling on the skin – reduced friction and shearing
- Less pain when being turned
- Better communication with staff
- More involved in own care
Patient transfer with VENDLET is significantly less complex than patient transfers using manual aids. As mentioned, this means that in many situations it is possible to be one employee to transfer a client rather than two.
This saves time and allows for a more efficient organization of tasks during the day, as waiting times are reduced. In some cases, the ease of using the system even allows for a family member, friend, or even the client themselves, to turn the client in bed. This can be useful during peak hours, such as during the night, and can also increase the client’s independence and quality of life.
Further, the increased efficiency can help reduce costs and many cases have shown that investment in VENDLET has a very short return on investment period.
Demonstration or Trial