Are we moving patients or assaulting them?

Are we moving patients or assaulting them?

Is physical harm inadvertently being caused by the present traditional in-bed care and manual moving practices and the poor design of present products?

This is a question we posed in a LinkedIn group and it has provoked some interesting discussions. You can read them all here.

I used the words “assaulting them” in the initial question for maximum effect. However in-bed care and physical moving practices have generally progressed at a rate in conjunction with the equipment available (and in many cases at the same rate as the design of the equipment used has allowed).

However with the new emerging research evidence related to patient safety, the new products and technology like Biotechsis® that are becoming available are being designed to improve both patient and the carers’ safety; by providing the means to remove/significantly reduce the need to move patients by manually handling them.

In our opinion however, the process for their introduction and use should be relatively speedier. A “fast track system” with all the trials, checks and validation completed would addresses a number of issues: Patients’ safety plus carers’ safety as well as reduced training costs, and lower compliance, monitoring and compliance costs with their design approach.

The relatively slow progress (sliding sheets and manual handling practices approximately 20 years to present) in this area is being seen as unacceptable. This is reflected in the various initiatives to introduce and embed Human Factors thinking into Health and Social Care practices.

By simply slowing down the introduction of new safer practices for the patient and carer on the basis that “carers have to see them in a different light and when they are ready” would appear to be totally unacceptable.

If technology is available in new product design to provide Safer Care for the patient and the Health and Social Care system (system in its widest context), then fails in its “duty of care” to prevent the patient being exposed to avoidable or actual harm, then it may be considered to be “assaulting them”.

And in the words of CHFG, “If a complaint is the trigger for the identification and investigation of avoidable harm, the system is already failing”.

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