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Chris Jensen Medical Center Saves Estimated $600,000 in First Year of Safe Patient Handling

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 (, 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

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 around minimizing the risk as much as possible by using equipment to take on the stresses and strains of day-to-day transferring of residents."

In the first phase of the program, mobile floor lifts and new beds were purchased for all of the wings of the facility. This allowed the facility to bring Nursing Aids up to safe working levels while they were performing their procedures. The second phase addressed the concerns of the facility's larger and more dependent residents. Overhead ceiling mounted lifts were installed in twenty rooms to assist with repositioning, turning and transferring the more dependent patients.

Over the ensuing years the 75 percent reduction injury trend has remained steady with reductions in the number of transfer related injuries continuing to be realized.

In response to their program's success, Chris Jensen was asked to testify in front of the Minnesota state legislature in 2007. The legislature, in that same year, passed a law mandating safe patient handling in both long-term and acute-care facilities across Minnesota.


The Safe Lifting Portal is sponsored by Liko, a Hill-Rom company, and can be found at For more information about Liko's sponsorship of the Safe Lifting Portal or for information about the Safe Lifting Award, contact Liko, 122 Grove Street, Franklin, MA 02038; telephone (888) 545-6671 or (508) 553-3993; fax (508) 528-6642; or visit the Liko website at


Liko, a Hill-Rom company, is one of the world's leading suppliers of patient lifts, including mobile, overhead rail, sit-to-stand and bariatric lifts, as well as a selection of more than 250 slings and accessories. The company is the exclusive sponsor of the "Safe Lifting Environment" campaign, provided for the public good and designed to help prevent caregiver injuries (visit for more details).


Hill-Rom is a leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services for the health care industry, including patient support systems, safe mobility and handling solutions, non-invasive therapeutic products for a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions, medical equipment rentals, and information technology solutions. Hill-Rom's comprehensive product and service offerings are used by health care providers across the health care continuum in hospitals, extended care facilities and home care settings to enhance the safety and quality of patient care.

Hill-Rom... enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers.


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