To prevent patient harm, keep our patients moving
If you have ever lain in bed for a few days, you understand how good it feels to start moving around again. Your muscles and joints loosen, your blood flow improves and you may even notice your mood lightening. Imagine lying in bed for a long time in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place, much like what our patients experience.
We know functional decline can have negative effects on our patients, but we often fail to recognize that these complications can be as serious and preventable as a CAUTI or CLABSI. Complications that can result from immobility include pressure ulcers, atelectasis, deep vein thrombosis, falls and longer hospital stays, just to name a few.
Asante defines mobility as, “A progressive, proactive and multidisciplinary approach to prevent deconditioning through ongoing screening and safe, frequent and intentional movement, with the end goal to restore patients to their baseline level of function.”
The Asante Mobility Team has worked diligently to develop a nurse-driven mobility program to prevent deconditioning through adaptive mobility exercises. This program was adopted and adapted from programs used at Banner, Duke and UCLA.
Though the program has been live for several months, opportunities exist to improve adherence to these interventions, specifically consistently moving our patients three times per day and writing their mobility level on the whiteboard in a language they can understand.
A commonly cited concern is the amount of time it takes for nurses to mobilize their patients; however, a reduction in required nursing time as a result of increased patient independence and less call light usage has been demonstrated at organizations with functional mobility programs.
Moving our patients is an essential and evidence-based element of their journey to healing. As direct care providers, we must make this part of our daily practice, just like the provision of medications and other treatments. Make regular mobility part of your patient care routine to benefit them — and you.
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