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How SPHM Technology Improves Health Outcomes

Written by: Michael Fragala, PhD, MBA, RN, WCC, CSPHP, AMS

Safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) technology helps care facilities provide the highest level of care for their patients. From wheelchairs to ceiling lifts, care facilities rely on SPHM technology to help them care for each patient in a way that makes sense. With less stress placed on the patient and the care team, better health outcomes can be achieved.

What Is SPHM Technology?

SPHM technology replaces manual lifting or transferring with equipment that helps patients suffering from chronic illness, advanced age, or the side effects of medication. By utilizing SPHM technology, patients suffering from chronic illness or age-related issues are enabled to take control of their own mobility.

wealth of studies have found that those who rely on such tools experience increased independence and autonomy. This increase can ultimately lead to a boost in morale and alleviation from depression.

Examples of SPHM technology include:

Mechanical Lifts: Mechanical lifts provide a safe and efficient way to move individuals with limited mobility. This type of device allows transfers to be performed quickly and efficiently without sacrificing the quality of care. Care providers can easily adjust the setting of the mechanical lift — from the mode of transfer, the position of straps, and level of support to provide personalized care that accommodates patients’ specific needs.

Slide Sheets: Slide sheets are an invaluable tool for long-term care facilities and their staff to use when transferring or turning patients. Using slide sheets facilitates smooth patient movement without having to lift them because the ebb and flow of the glide brings them along with a minimal change in pressure on any one area. Not only does this create less friction between the patient and bedding, but it also eliminates much of the strain on medical personnel required during traditional lifting techniques.

Therapeutic Support Surfaces (TSS): These provide an additional layer of protection by redistributing pressure to reduce pain and discomfort. The use of therapeutic support surfaces has been found to reduce the risk of painful pressure injuries, improve postural alignment, encourage healthy sleep patterns, and decrease pain and fatigue through the night. Not only are they beneficial on a medical level, but they also make life much easier for staff with fewer nightly disruptions or necessary repositioning of residents during their sleep cycles.

Gait belts: Gait belts provide support and stability, creating fewer opportunities for care providers to strain or injure themselves. They also support care providers with helping patients throughout the course of their duties without fear of injury or harm. Moreover, these belts can keep vulnerable patients protected while while they are being moved from one location to another

Wheelchairs: The use of wheelchairs is invaluable for long-term care facilities since they can enhance the quality of life for those living with disabilities or mobility issues. Not only do wheelchairs provide superior support and stability when moving patients from room to room or transferring them in/out of chairs and beds, but they also have features that enhance comfort while in use.

SPHM technology offers a return on investment for facilities that want to better use their funds to care for more people. Care providers can attend to more individuals, and individuals in facilities can heal faster.

SPHM Technology Reduces the Risk of Falls

One million patients fall in a care facility annually. Sometimes these falls happen because of slippery socks, unsafe bathing facilities, or unexpected medical side effects. Technology such as artificial intelligence, strategically designed socks, simple no-slip mats in a bathtub, or apps that help patients determine when they are at risk based on their medication can lower their chance of falling.

SPHM Technology Reduces the Risk of Fall-Related Injuries

Since SPHM technology removes the need for manual lifting and reduces the demand on care providers, it also lowers the risk of fall-related injury. Care providers often suffer injuries in their line of work, including falls, slips, trips, and transportation incidents. These injuries can cause care providers to leave the profession (a disastrous consequence after the COVID-19 pandemic thinned the numbers of nurses) or to make claims for financial compensation.

When patients suffer from falls, it tends to lengthen the amount of time they need to recover. But these falls can also lead to a worsening of their condition, new conditions, or even fatalities. To help reduce the number of falls, SPHM technology gives patients and caretakers reliable machinery to improve mobility.

Invest in SPHM Technology to Improve Health Outcomes

SPHM technology plays a vital role in patient care, providing a powerful combination of protection and independence for patients and care providers. By mitigating the risk of falls and ensuring safer conditions for care providers, SPHM technology allows patients greater autonomy.

Implementing SPHM technology can help improve patient outcomes and create a more efficient long-term care system overall.

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