PatientCareErgonomicsResourceGuide: SafePatientHandling & Movement Department of Veterans Affairs ��Equipment Evaluation Process Gait/Transfer Belt with Handles: An object with handles improves the grasp opportunity for the worker and thereby reduces the risk. Gait/transfer belts are installed on patients or residents, usually around the area of the waist providing handles for a worker to grasp when assisting or transferring a partially dependent patient or resident, as shown. Small hand-held slings that go around the patient can also facilitate a transfer by providing handles. These options are available for patients with weight bearing capability that needs only minimal assistance. Equipment evaluations are typically used to compare the usability of competitive equipment types for a specific application. As such, development of an equipment evaluation protocol is highly dependent on equipment type and application. The SafePatient Movement TAG has defined twelve equipment categories. Further, eight product applications have been defined by this group. This presents 90 or more equipment type/application combinations, each requiring an individualized evaluation protocol. PatientHandling Equipment Equipment Applications Sliding Boards Nursing Home Care Units Air Assisted Lateral Sliding Aids General Rehabilitation Units Friction Reducing Lateral Sliding Aids Acute Medical/Surgical Units Mechanical Lateral Transfer Aids Operating and Recovery Rooms Transfer Chairs Spinal Cord Injury Units Gait belts with handles Outpatient Clinics Powered Full Body Sling Lifts Inpatient (General) Powered Standing Assist and Repositioning Lifts Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Standing Assist and Repositioning Aids Home Care Other Ergonomic Transfer Devices Bed Improvements to Support Transfers or Repositioning Dependency or Geriatric Chairs 50
Technology Solutions for SafePatientHandling and Movement Department of Veterans Affairs ��Evaluation Team Three possible team options are available for conducting equipment evaluations: •= Central evaluation team – a core group consisting of, at minimum, an Ergonomist, Risk Manager, Health and Safety Officer, and Nursing professional. •= On-site evaluation team – a group comprised of members from the clinical site. •= Central evaluation team with on-site champion. Utilization of a central evaluation team, while an excellent means of standardizing subjective influences would be personnel intensive. For field studies, at least one member of the central evaluation team would need to be on-site throughout the process. Further, since outsiders to the facility, the team may not have the full cooperation of site staff and patients. While it is hoped that an on-site evaluation team would have the full-cooperation of facility staff and patients, this approach would introduce substantial training needs. It is also anticipated that this would introduce uncontrolled subjective variability into the process, such that the findings from one site may not be directly applicable across other clinics with the same intended equipment application. A central evaluation team with an on-site champion appears to be a reasonable solution, drawing on the strengths of each approach. Train-the-trainer meetings might be appropriate to introduce on-site champions to the central evaluation team and provide educational resources to those individuals. Further, an electronic resource such as a news group or list being served could be set up to encourage communication and sharing of ideas/solutions among site champions. ��Sources of Information Information may be derived from a variety of sources, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. These information sources are outlined in Table 2. Table 2: Strengths and Weaknesses of Sources of Information Sources of Information Strengths Weaknesses Product Information. Rapid assessment. Biased information. External Evaluations/Literature Review. Rapid source of information. Maintenance. Objective accounting Cost of operation. 51 Typically conducted by manufacturer and therefore may be biased. Information may be difficult to attain from references; references typically provided by manufacturer.