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Chris Jensen Medical Center Saves Estimated $600,000 in First Year of Safe Patient Handling
Date:10/8/2009

BATESVILLE, Ind. and FRANKLIN, Mass., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center, St. Louis County, Duluth, Minn., has received the Safe Lifting Award presented by the Safe Lifting Portal (www.SafeLiftingPortal.com), a pro bono health care injury prevention website. The award was given in recognition of Chris Jensen's outstanding accomplishments in safe patient handling, safe lifting and caregiver injury prevention. A documentary DVD describing the facility's accomplishments can be obtained from http://www.safeliftingportal.com.

In their initial year of implementing a safe patient handling program, Chris Jensen Medical Center, a 205 bed long-term care facility located in Duluth, Minnesota realized a 75 percent reduction in patient transfer related injuries. The reduction in injuries resulted in an estimated savings of more than $600,000. The center adopted a facility-wide safe patient handling program in 2005, which included purchasing electric lifts for patient transfers along with extensive training of staff to bring about culture change. Before implementation of the program, statistics showed that Nursing Aids at Chris Jensen had the most dangerous job of all those employed by St. Louis County, in terms of number of accidents per hour worked.

Joe Austin, director of Safety and Risk Management for St. Louis County, stated, "I think Chris Jensen is similar to a lot of long-term care facilities that are out there. We have a highly dependent population, and before we put our program in place, we had a high accident rate."

Austin, who also helped develop the safe lifting program for Chris Jensen, added, "A human is not designed to day-in, day-out manually transfer another human. The science simply doesn't support that approach. Using that as our backdrop, we designed a program ar
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