It is easier and more cost-effective to design for safe patient handling and movement during construction and remodeling than to retrofit. Many healthcare facilities lack conveniently located storage space, so finding a convenient place to park portable lifts can be a challenge. When designing new buildings, additions, and renovations, it is important to plan for equipment use and storage. "Prevention Through Design," for example, is a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to minimize hazards and risks early in the design process. The Joint Commission's Environment of Care standards also promote building designs that protect patients, visitors, and staff.
The following resources can help hospitals assess their facility needs:
Every patient has unique characteristics and abilities that need to be assessed on a regular basis. Each patient should have a systematic assessment—focused on the patient's mobility—to protect both the patient and caregivers against injury. In Safe Patient Handling and Mobility: Interprofessional National Standards, the American Nurses Association recommends adapting each patient's plan of care to meet his or her mobility needs and specifying appropriate technology and methods.
The following resource provides several algorithms to help caregivers assess their patients' needs:
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