Safe Patient Handling (SPH) and Handle All Transfers Safely (HATS)
A PART OF NURSING PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE
The Stanford Health Care Safe Patient Handling (SPH) program, Handle All Transfers Safely (HATS) began in 2009 as part of the organization's continuous efforts to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all staff.
Safe Patient Handling leadership researched best practices and evidence surrounding the prevention of career-ending and life-changing injuries that nurses and other direct providers are at risk of developing in the process of lifting and moving patients. They found that a growing body of evidence indicated that commonly used patient transfer strategies such as lift teams, back belts and body mechanics classes are ineffective in reducing back injuries. With this knowledge, Stanford Health Care mandated that institution-wide "no-lift" policies be implemented. The Safe Patient Handling program introduced mechanical lifting equipment to support employees and patients. The SPH program trained 100% of the staff and deployed equipment to more than 37 inpatient units, operating rooms, and procedural areas by the end of 2019.
Ongoing support in the form of Atlas Lift Coaches and Unit Champions help to sustain the movement and create the culture change needed to decrease employee injuries and improve the safety of patient transfers.
The name HATS (Handle All Transfers Safely) was part of a contest open to all employees to name the Safe Patient Handling program and be awarded for their creativity and program support.
In January 2012, the passage of California's AB 1136 mandated that hospitals facilitate SPH policies and practices. This bill has supported the work of the SPH program and emphasizes the importance of safe patient handling techniques for employee and patient safety.
The "HATS" Team was awarded the 2010 Malinda Mitchell Award for Quality and Service.
SPH Unit Champions, are critical in successfully integrating and sustaining a SPH culture at Stanford Health Care. For information on becoming a SPH Champion or to learn more about the SPH Program, please email: email@example.com
Safe Patient Handling Unit Champions
Safe Patient Handling (SPH) practices are sustained by a SPH Committee comprised of Unit Champions, Lift Coaches and staff members from every patient care area. Unit Champions participate in staff training, injury prevention efforts, equipment monitoring & unit risk assessments.
The SPH program is led by a leadership group with members spanning various departments throughout the hospital. Monthly meetings are held to discuss current initiatives and problem-solve any areas of opportunity that arise.
For information on becoming a SPH Champion or to learn more about the SPH Program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe Patient Handling Education opportunities include:
- National Conferences – East and West Coast Safe Patient Handling
- Full-day regional conference with SPH experts offered by The Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (ASPHP)
- On-site webinars offered by (ASPHP)
- Stanford Safe Patient Handling, Mobility and Skin Care Seminars
Safe Patient Handling Training
Along with support services, such as investigating & offering solutions to SPH injuries, support for & maintenance of SPH equipment & having in-unit resource staff, the SPH program is dedicated to the education of SPH protocols of all patient care staff.