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COLUMBUS, Miss. – After investing more than $1 million in new safe patient handling equipment and in weeks of employee training, Baptist Memorial Hospital –Golden Triangle is well on its way to transitioning to a minimal lift facility – using lift equipment to aid personnel in the lifting, moving and transferring of patients.

The new equipment rolls out to patient care areas on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The public is invited to see how this equipment actually works when a sample of some of the more than 130 pieces recently purchased by Baptist is displayed in the lobby of the Patient Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.

The cumulative weight lifted by a health care giver in one typical eight-hour shift is 1.8 tons, the safe patient handling equipment promotes caregiver safety and reduces the risk of injury to the patient, said Project Champion and Baptist Golden Triangle Director of Education Nicole Pounders, RN.

“We are excited about rolling out this initiative as it not only proves our system’s commitment to provide a safe working environment for our staff, but also provides better outcomes for our patients,” she said.

Eventually all of the hospitals in the Baptist Memorial Health Care system will have the safe patient handling equipment. The equipment will help caregivers lift, move and transfer patients safer and more effectively while decreasing the patients’ risk of complications from immobility, Pounders added.





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“Experience and studies have shown that the longer a patient stays immobile in a hospital bed, the greater the risk he or she has of developing complications such as pneumonia, blood clots or pressure ulcers,” she explained.

Different types of equipment will be used in all patient care areas of the hospital. For example, some of the slides are friction-reducing devices that will help reduce skin shearing and bruising for patients and make turning schedules, repositioning and lateral transfers of patients easier for clinical

staff. An enhanced standing aid will provide a more suitable and dignified alternative to a wheelchair; will enable good, reassuring eye contact; and will be helpful in getting a patient to the toilet in small bathrooms, Pounders added.

Total lifts will be used in many departments and will allow for one caregiver to lift a patient, rather than a ‘team.’ Lift-mounted scales provide an easy way to weigh a patient. These lifts also make it safer and easier to transfer a patient from the bed to a chair and to help dependent patients in and out of vehicles.

“Nursing is the only profession where we get excited when we have a 100-pound patient to lift,” said Chief Nursing Officer Mary Ellen Sumrall. “Most nursing personnel will not even seek additional help to lift 100 pounds. In many other industries, they look at 100 pounds as a lot to lift without some type of ancillary equipment. This new lift equipment will not only promote caregiver safety, but also patient comfort and help decrease length of stay,” Sumrall added.

With 315 beds, Baptist Golden Triangle is the largest regional hospital affiliated with the Memphis, Tenn.-based Baptist Memorial Health Care system. With physicians and surgeons representing almost every medical specialty practicing at the hospital, Baptist Golden Triangle offers a wide range of comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages.

The hospital offers a variety of services to the community, including the Baptist Cancer Center, Baptist Behavioral Health Care for those with behavioral and mental health problems, an emergency room with 24-hour ambulance service, an extensive rehabilitation department, and educational programs. Baptist Golden Triangle employs more than 1,000 health care professionals.

For more information, please call 662-244-1000 or visit http://goldentriangle.baptistonline.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Baptistgoldentriangle

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