Draft Patient Handling Standard Begins with Safety Culture

The American Nurses Association's Safe Patient Handling and Mobility National Standards Working Group is seeking public comments on it by 5 p.m. EST Nov. 30.

Nov. 30 is the deadline for comments on a draft of proposed safe patient handling and mobility national standards, with the American Nurses Association saying the goal of the standards is "to provide evidence-based and outcomes-focused guidance and raise the bar" for how safe patient handling and mobility are addressed wherever health care services are provided. ANA's Safe Patient Handling and Mobility National Standards Working Group has asked for comments about the draft, the scope of the standards, their applicability to foreseeable safe patient handling and mobility concerns, and whether they are likely to remain current during the next five years.

The first standard concerns creating a culture of safety. It says employers should create an environment "that encourages health care workers to report errors, incidents, and accidents so that the precursors to errors can be better understood and system issues can be fixed." It also says employers should provide safe levels of staffing and should allow health care workers to reject any health care recipient assignment that puts themselves or the recipients at serious risk for harm. This first standard also states that health care workers should actively participate in safety training, should follow policies and procedures, and should notify the employer about hazards, incidents, and accidents as soon as possible using the employer's reporting procedures.

The second standard concerns actions to implement and sustain a safe patient handling and mobility program, and the third concerns steps for incorporating prevention through design (PtD) when health care delivery areas are constructed or renovated.

The comment deadline is 5 p.m. EST Nov. 30.

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