Friday, August 1, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Overhead lifts improve patient care and staff safety at Sutter

patient lift23W

Liz Madison, Communication Coordinator for Sutter Health, helps physical therapist Kathy Bechtold demonstrate the overhead patient lift on Enterprise reporter Will Bellamy. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | July 01, 2014 |

Moving intensive care patients has long been a major burden for hospital staff.

The task requires them to put patient safety first while simultaneously protecting themselves from the various injuries that can result from heavy lifting. It can also drain a hospital’s manpower, as teams of five or even six people sometimes become necessary, and shorten the careers of physical therapists and other employees. When age begins to limit their ability to lift patients, they often struggle to continue working.

For these reasons, among others, Sutter Health announced in June that it will put $11.5 million toward installing overhead patient lifts at 19 of its Northern California intensive care units and acute rehabilitation centers. Sutter invested the same amount three years ago in order to provide 21 of its affiliate sites with the lifts.

Already, the effects of the first expenditure have been palpable. According to Sutter, employee injuries attributed to lifting or repositioning patients have dropped by 50 percent since 2011. At Sutter Davis Hospital, the overhead lifts have drawn the praise of much of the staff, including physical therapist Kathy Bechtold and nurse Zaid Hiabu.

“In a hospital, you always have to be very careful because you’re working with patients who have unpredictable movements sometimes. And actually, as our population has been changing, we (have been) getting heavier patients. So, (the lifts) have been a way to move patients safely, both for the patient and for us,” Bechtold told The Enterprise.

Added Hiabu: “It’s two things: One, it’s better for the patient because you’re not pushing them or pulling them, and the other thing is that it’s better for us as well because we’re not doing heavy lifting.”

The overhead lifts consist of what the staff refers to as a sling or a repositioning sheet, an electric motor and a system of tracks that run along the ceiling of the patient’s room.

The sling supports the patients while the motor — controlled by a remote — either raises or lowers them. The tracks allow doctors to slide the patient to any area of the room in a gentle and gradual manner.
“It’s like a hoist, kind of like a crane,” Bechtold said. “We describe it to the patient as like a hammock and that’s actually what it feels like with the patient in there, so they’re very comfortable.”

The overhead lifts have served a number of purposes since their installation. Hospital staff have used them to move patients onto gurneys, lift them into bed and reposition them so as to prevent them from developing bedsores.

The lifts also have allowed patients to begin mobilization therapy while in the ICU — a proven technique for jump-starting recovery.

When working with her patients, Bechtold has used the apparatuses to transfer patients from their beds to nearby reclining chairs, where they can safely sit upright and receive therapy.

“That’s a big step for the patient to be out of that bed and into a chair,” Bechtold said. “And then for me, as a physical therapist, to mobilize them, I can actually stand a patient up safer from the chair because as they start to get up, they’re using better body mechanics. If they don’t make it, we’re sitting right back down.”

Overall, Sutter Health intends to install 1,013 overhead lifts at affiliate hospitals across its Northern California network. Bechtold said that the lifts have gained popularity not only with hospital staff, but also with patients and their families. She joked that male patients, in particular, enjoy having access to the remote.

Comments

comments

.

News

A week of groundwater news in the Year of Groundwater

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
What’s the buzz?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Davis Reads book project focuses on veterans

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Carbahal and Company celebrates 30 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

UCD chancellor is coming up for five-year review

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Candidate goes homeless to showcase economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Increase in health plan costs is slowing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Kashkari’s campaign coffers depleted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Enjoy films, beer at benefit Friday night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Target hosts National Night Out celebration

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Parents can learn all about IEPs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

10 essential herbs are focus of Davisite’s talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Bee beard photo wins award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Businesses can learn about PR strategies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Digital device use is up among school-age children

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Seniors share homes for savings, companionship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Farmers Market shoppers can pick up free reusable produce bags

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

It’s not what they thought

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Treat children as refugees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Protect and expand Medicare

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

It’s insurance against extremes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Political cartoon was offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Let’s gas up for TAPS

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Railroads, listen up and respond

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Swimley recalls a budding star in Giants’ Susac

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stuart named to outstanding placekicker watch list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Going, going, gone: A’s trade Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD women’s golf tees up tough schedule

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Droll sci-fi hijinks

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Barnyard Theatre adds ‘Pinky’ performance after sold-out opening night.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

WOH to hold auditions for ‘Zuccotti Park’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Tunes on Tuesdays’ come to Freeman Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Grand Cherokee: A grand, and long, ride

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Nancy Jane Fife

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Clara Meyerhoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Patricia Eileen Hershberger

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
John Vernon McLane Wayland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Don Fife

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 1, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A6