SJHHLogoApril 22, 2014 – It is well documented that there is an increased frequency of patients of bariatric size accessing care at health care facilities across Canada.  When providing care to this population, there are increased risks associated with patient handling.

Ergonomic/ Rehabilitation Consultants in Occupational Health and Safety Services, Lisa Manto-Grant, PT BScPT and Tara Emick, MSc. (OT), OT Reg. (Ont.) of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, have been developing a Bariatric Preparedness Guideline in collaboration with Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA).  The purpose of this guideline is to assist health care facilities, ranging from acute care to long term care, with planning and management of the specialized needs of a bariatric patient admission.

The guideline, currently in draft stages, outlines Bariatric Preparedness strategies for an organization. Once finalized, these strategies will be shared for all to benefit, and are intended to be used as a resource for health care facilities to develop and implement safe, professional and sensitive practices that maintain the highest Standards of Care and dignity required for patients, while managing the responsibility to uphold safe work practices and injury prevention for staff.  This guideline addresses the unique issues from both a Health and Safety and Ergonomics perspective in order to be a practical, evidence-based resource.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has additional Ergonomic and Safety Initiatives. Two recent projects which have been implemented include:

  • Development of a Patient Handling Lift Location Resource document. The intent is to disseminate knowledge of the various locations of the patient handling lifts at the three main St. Joe’s campuses to promote use of the equipment for safe patient handling.
  • With the opening of St. Joe’s new West 5th facility, a Welcome to Your Workstation eLearning module was developed to promote proper ergonomic set up of the new workstations for employees as well as be a resource to all staff that require an ergonomic refresher of their workstations at other campuses.

These are just some of the exciting Occupational Health and Safety/Ergonomic projects happening at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

For more information on the Bariatric Preparedness Guideline, please contact Lisa Manto-Grant (lgrant@stjosham.on.ca) of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Frances Ziesmann (fziesmann@pshsa.ca) of PSHSA.