Impact of safe resident handling programs in nursing homes on outcomes after work injury
Manual handling of residents has resulted in excess musculoskeletal injuries among nursing home workers. Safe Resident Handling Programs (SRHPs) have been shown to be an effective strategy to minimize risk, but their impact on Return-to-Work (RTW) and on reinjury has not been evaluated.
A large nursing home corporation introduced a three-year SRHP program in 2004, including purchase of resident handling (RH) equipment for all centers, staff training, policies, and maintenance. Following three years of periodic training, SRHP management was transferred to the centers. Detailed workers' compensation claims (WCCs) for injuries due to RH were classified as pre- or post-SRHP. These are being compared for injury severity, length of disability, and injury recurrence to quantify the effect of the SRHP on RTW and reinjury.
In 2000-2010, there were 22,445 WCCs, of which 5,142 were back claims and 6,515 were related to RH (2,045 lost-time RH claims). Preliminary results indicate the number of lost-time RH-related WCCs decreased by one-third after three years, and by two-thirds in the next three years (compared to pre-SRHP). We hypothesize that severity of injury, length of disability, and recurrence of disabling RH-related injuries will have decreased following the SRHP. We further expect the impact to be sustained even after the end of the external training program.
This study will lead to a more comprehensive assessment of the overall impact of the SRHP, especially as it affects the RTW process. Improved RTW outcomes could potentially lead to greater adoption of SRHP practices.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety
Compare pre- and post-SRHP RTW outcomes following RH-related and low back claims. Compare pre- and post-SRHP recurrent injuries related to RH and the low back. Evaluate the sustainability of the SRHP based on results from two three-year follow-up periods with different SRHP ownership.
Keyword(s): Health Care Workers, Interventions
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting ergonomics and injury research in the healthcare field for nearly seven years. I also have extensive experience developing analysis strategies, writing and executing SAS code for data cleaning, and performing detailed analysis of workers' compensation claims data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.