Diversicare’s Innovative System for
Designating Patient Lifts
“Diversicare Management Services has 50 long term care facilities in 9 states. Connie Ayers and Connie Lowery, both nurses oversee and implement the No Resident Lift Programs in each of the facilities under the direction of Loren Martin, Director of Loss Prevention. For several months they had been discussing that each facility used a different type label to identify the lifts and slings for each patient, and we felt a universal system should be adopted throughout all Diversicare facilities.
Both of the nurses attended "Safe Patient Handling Training" at Liko’s Safe Lifting Center in Massachusetts and during that training they heard a presentation on the Safe Lifting Portal. Both nurses thought the Portal’s symbol would be a good basic design for universal labels, so they requested assistance from Portal administrators. The Liko people worked very hard and spent a lot of time helping both Diversicare nurses develop the resulting patient labeling system.
The labels represent the type lift (T or SS – Total or Sit-to-Stand) and the number of staff required to use the lift. The color of the label represents what size sling is needed. Once the resident lift assessment is completed, the Tender Lift and Care Coordinator at the home ( " TLC" is the name of Diversicares‘ no resident lift program) places the label on the resident’s name plate. The labels are small but highly visible, giving all caregivers immediate information regarding how that resident should be transferred.
During implementation of the universal label system, the nurses did in-services to educate staff and now the Staff Development Coordinator or other designated TLC coordinator includes this as part of the orientation on the lifts. As a result, all Diversicare facilities are uniform in appearance. It has been a very positive move and has even had family members commenting on how good it looks compared to the old “anything goes” handwritten labels used.
In one of our states, even a state surveyor made a positive comment about the label. It is a very efficient system and cost effective as well. Each roll has 500 labels on it and the labels are placed in a dispenser that can be wall mounted. We were one of the first companies to develop a No resident Lift program in all our facilities and it has drastically reduced our employee injuries since the very first year it was in place with more reduction of all types of injuries and incidents over the last 5 years. We should also note that this system was not funded by the Safe Lifting Portal but by Diversicare Management Services.
The picture is from our Hartford Health Care in Hartford, Alabama. The nurse pictured is Sarah Miller, Restorative and TLC coordinator. She is shown placing a label on a new resident’s room.”
Written by Connie Lowery, LPN
Clinical Specialist & Ergonomics