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HTI AirWaves Issue 1


Dear Subscriber,

Thank you for your interest in HoverTech’s Customer Newsletter, HTI AirWaves, an email publication featuring Safe Patient Handling articles, news, and updates!  Our goal is to keep you up to date on the latest in our industry through content that is interesting and informative.  This issue contains a feature article on incorporating Safe Patient Handling & Mobility in Rehab, as well as the first installment of a new 4-part series on the "10 Steps for an Effective SPHM Program."  We hope you enjoy this newsletter and welcome your feedback.

With warm regards, 

The HTI AirWaves Team



National Safe Patient Handling legislation to enter Congress again

On May 12, representatives from HoverTech International joined the American Nurses Association, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and other health care safety experts in Washington DC to encourage members of Congress to pass a national Safe Patient Handling law.   Citing the high rates of injury among healthcare workers, ANA president Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, stated: “In no other profession would we ask workers to lift 90 pounds or more without mechanical support. Nurses and health care workers should not be the exception.”  Rep. Conyers is working on a companion bill with a senator called theNurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act.  He plans to release this bill by the end of June.  TheNurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act, which was previously introduced in June 2013 (H.R.2480), seeks to establish a “safe patient handling, mobility, and injury prevention standard” to “reduce injuries to patients, nurses, and all other health care workers” through the following requirements:


  • Require a Safe Patient Handling Plan
  • Require Employers to Purchase, Use and Maintain Equipment
  • Require Employers to Obtain Input from Registered Nurses and Healthcare Workers
  • Require Employers to Maintain Data on Injuries Related to the Safe Patient Handling Standard
  • Require Employers to Consider Incorporation of Technology Into New Facility Design
  • Require Employers to Educate and Train Healthcare Workers on Policies, Technology and Equipment
  • Require Posting of Information and Rights
  • Requires Employer to Perform Annual Evaluation of the Program
  • Requires Employer to Provide Procedures Under Which Healthcare Workers May Refuse an Unsafe Assignment

While state legislation for Safe Patient Handling has already been passed in Washington, Texas, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Ohio, Missouri and California, this is the first bill to propose a national standard.



Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2480) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.2480.IH:/



HoverTech International Makes Safe Patient Handling History

Revolutionary HoverSling® SPU transfer and lift device streamlines patient handling tasks


Committed to continuous innovation in the field of Safe Patient Handling & Mobility, HoverTech International (www.HoverMatt.com) has developed a next generation solution:  the HoverSling® SPU transfer and lift device.  The HoverSling streamlines patient handling tasks by reducing the amount of time and money spent using multiple products.  With the HoverSling, caregivers can use one, disposable product for nearly all patient handling tasks, including:  lateral transfers, repositioning, turning, and vertical lifting. The patient also benefits from trusted HoverMatt® air technology to reduce skin shear during lateral transfers and a unique sling design that provides unprecedented comfort and support during vertical lifts.


  Safe Patient Handling “How-To”

HTI Airwaves Series: 10 Steps for an Effective SPHM Program

A successful Safe Patient Handling & Movement (SPHM) program should include key elements to ensure effectiveness over the long run. In this HTI Airwaves 4-part series, each of these ten essential program steps will be addressed:

                1) Mission and goals
                2) Management support
                3) Multidisciplinary team
                4) Written policy and protocols
                5) Assessment process
                6) Education and training 
                7) Equipment tracking and maintenance
                8) Program audit impact/review
                9) Medical management of injured staff
                10) Program establishment and spread in organization

Each element contributes to the quality of the program and each builds upon the others.  If you already have a program in place, you can evaluate how your program stacks up for a particular item.  If you are just starting your program – don’t be overwhelmed – you can do this step by step with the right support and help.

Element 1: Program Mission Statement and Goals 

Mission Statement: This istheprimary purpose of your program, the reason your SPHM program exists. Think about your institution’s mission. Aligning your SPHM mission with this may help ensure buy-in, and piggybacking on organizational momentum can help strengthen your program.

Goals: What outcomes do you want to achieve? Be specific. Goals can be adjusted over time; you can start off with conservative targets and become more aggressive as your program matures. Goals need to be measurable for periodic program assessment and revision.   

Ensure that SPHM is “at the table” by drawing lines linking SPHM and other institutional goals. Show your Administration and fellow employees the evidence linking patient safety and employee safety.  Ensure that SPHM is integrated into your Falls, Wounds, Patient Satisfaction and other relevant quality programs.   Ensure that employee safety goals become institutional goals.  

 “If safety is to be seen as a strategic priority for all staff, then leadership must make it a key focus of their attention.”

    Leadership Guide to Patient Safety: Botwinick L, Bisognano M, Haraden C. IHI Innovation Series white  paper. Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2006

Element 2:  Management Support

Real management support means that senior leaders are willing to make the necessary investments to lower risk and effect change.  Program champions should first educate management about the resources (financial and personnel) required for a successful program.  Speak the language of leaders in terms of risks, costs and benefits. This may require acquiring more knowledge of the business and financial side of healthcare, but will help you in presenting the information managers need to know to make the right decisions.

 Ensure that managers include employee safety and patient handling in their agendas and when making hospital rounds.  If staff does not hear leaders talking about safety, then it will not be viewed as an organizational priority.  Managers also need to know how to effectively incorporate staff accountability and compliance for safe patient handling.

 “It is also essential for organizational leadership to continually reinforce that SPHM is an expectation  of care.”

            ANA, Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Interprofessional National Standards; Nursebooks.org; 2013

 Next Newsletter… Elements 3, 4 & 5 will be presented: SPHM Team, Policy, and Assessment Process.


IN THE NEWS! HTI featured in print, online, etc.

Check out our listings and ad in the Surgical Products 2016 Buyers' Guide:


HoverTech supports SPHM legislation! See our ad for the March 2015 American Journal of Safe Patient Handling & Movement:




SPHM + Rehab = Perfect Match

If the integration of Safe Patient Handling and Mobility with the physical rehabilitation of your patients isn’t quite a perfect match – here are some tips for a better union.

 - Safe Patient Handling & Mobility (SPHM) isn’t just a Nursing issue: Your team needs an active member from the Rehab department to ensure success in reducing staff injuries and keeping patients safe during transfers or mobilization. Other than Nursing and Radiology, no other department moves patients more frequently, or suffers more injuries, than Rehabilitation.  Concerns about incorporating SPHM into Rehab require resolution before they become permanent barriers to change.  Best practice includes integration and accountability of all disciplines into an organization’s safe patient handling policies. Ergonomic education and culture change in the practice of Physical Therapy must occur, just as within Nursing.

- Patient rehabilitation and safe patient handling are not conflicting goals.  Ensure that all Rehab staff are informed about current evidence regarding safe patient handling and improved outcomes and safety for patients and employees.  Early mobilization goals for patients should be accomplished by using both physical therapy and equipment. Physical therapists can no longer rely on practicing good body mechanics alone to safely move their patients (as nursing staff is also learning). Lift equipment will not impede a patient from reaching their mobility goals. Devices are available that enable a patient to move safely at whatever level they are able and still be prevented from falling if their strength or abilities fail. Patients must be encouraged to do as much as they safely can accomplish. But when a patient is doing something for the first time post-op, for example, or it is obvious that a particular move can’t be done without a therapist holding all or part of a patient’s weight/body, equipment should be used to avoid risk of injury to both patient and staff.                                                                                                                                       

-Champion Physical Therapists who integrate SPHM into their practice. Utilize the expertise of Rehab staff to advance safety and quality care. In many organizations, decisions about patient transfers or mobilization are made by therapists. Current best practice is to have written, unit-based SPHM protocols for all patient handling & movement. These should be established collaboratively by unit-based staff, including therapists.  Celebrate the beneficial influence therapists can have in achieving improved patient outcomes and other quality goals as champions for safe patient handling.

 - New methods and equipment make therapy safer for all and easier for staff.  More evidence and  case studies are indicating that when a therapist uses equipment to support a patient during mobilization, rather than the therapist’s own body, patients report feeling more comfortable and confident during therapy sessions.  Therapists are reporting that they experience less pain over time when devices bear the force of a patient’s weight rather than their own spine. To ensure that your therapists are guided by current practices and new technologies, stay up-to-date with new methods and equipment.  Plan learning sessions, schedule vendor demonstrations, and attend seminars, webinars and conferences.

 - Did you know there is one device that can accomplish lateral and vertical patient transfers and repositioning/turning in bed? For your patient’s first time out of bed, safely move them to the chair using a lift and a HoverSling® SPU transfer and lift device.  This product increases caregiver efficiency and reduces risk by combining a transfer/repositioning device and sling into one product.  The HoverSling can safely remain under a patient without risk of skin breakdown.  It is a unique product and only available from HoverTech.


  Safe Patient Handling Quiz

Test your knowledge….read SPHM + Rehab = Perfect Match, then take this month’s SPH Quiz! 

True or False…

  1.  Physical therapists have low rates of injuries related to moving/lifting patients during therapy tasks.
  2.  Evidence is now showing that patients advance more rapidly when safe patient handling equipment is used for early mobilization.
  3.  Physical therapists should not be a part of an organization’s safe patient handling team/committee.
  4.  Patients should always be encouraged to do as much as they can, but when physical support is needed, equipment should be used rather than manual support from staff.




Quiz Answers: 1. F, 2. T, 3. F, 4. T


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