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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014

News

Federal Grant Helps West Penn Hospital - Forbes Regional Campus Lift Staff and Patients to New Levels of Safety

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Monroeville, PA (October 23, 2009) – West Penn Hospital – Forbes Campus has been awarded a $471,200 federal grant for purchasing equipment that will make it safer and easier for hospital staff to lift patients. 

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18), who helped secure the grant, will present a ceremonial check at 9 a.m., Monday, Oct. 26, at the Joint and Spine Center at Forbes. The Joint and Spine Center is just one of many departments at Forbes that will benefit from the new equipment.

The grant will enable Forbes to institute a minimal lift policy to help prevent patient injuries as well as staff injuries.

"In the healthcare arena, I have focused my efforts on initiatives geared towards patient safety. I am pleased to have secured these federal funds for West Penn Hospital - Forbes Campus to install technology that will help in achieving these goals by improving care for patients who require assistance with mobilization,” Congressman Murphy said.

“It’s not just equipment but a comprehensive program that focuses on patient and staff safety and comfort,” said Carol Huffman, Forbes’ director of Rehabilitation Services.

Huffman served as a member of the hospital’s Patient Movement Team, a group created to analyze the need for specialized lift equipment, explore the effectiveness of “zero lift” policies developed by other hospitals and create a new lifting policy to improve employee and patient satisfaction at Forbes.

“Originally we were charged to review methods to improve employee safety and reduce injuries, but early on we realized that implementation of a minimal lift policy would certainly improve patient safety as well,” Huffman said.

The grant will enable the hospital to implement a comprehensive, hospital-wide, safe patient lifting program, which the Patient Movement Team estimates could potentially decrease patient falls by as much as 13 percent.

To launch the new program, Forbes Campus has purchased the following items from Medcare Products, Inc.:

• 50 ceiling lifts for lifting patients who are in bed
• 10 sit-to-stand lifts
• Six floor lifts to be used in the event of patient falls
• One car extractor for lifting patients from vehicles when they arrive at the Emergency Department

Additionally, the hospital is purchasing a Lite Gait ambulatory aid from Mobility Research, which is used to support patients during physical therapy sessions.

The new, electric equipment will replace several pneumatic lifting devices currently in use at the hospital. Under the new initiative, each nursing unit of the hospital will receive appropriate lifting equipment.

“We thank Representative Tim Murphy for helping to secure this grant and for his outstanding commitment to partnering with us to improve community health,” said Gary Strong, President and Chief Executive Officer, West Penn Hospital – Forbes Campus.

“Congressman Murphy’s support has been instrumental in allowing West Penn Hospital – Forbes Campus to continue to meet the needs and ensure the comfort of residents of the eastern suburbs,” Strong said.

Forbes Campus staff will be trained on the use of the new lifts beginning next week and the installation of the lifts is scheduled to begin November 2.

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