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ICU Mobility Program Saves $500K in 6 Months

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2014

The kick-off event was just the first step. Seeing the real results of the program—included enthusiasm from patients and families—helped motivate the nurses, too. "They were very proud," says Mimi Matthys, RN, MSN, clinical team lead in the ICU. "They saw their patient get better and that's all they needed."

Elements of the initiative included:

  • Screening patients every 12 hours for whether it was safe for them to be part of the program
  • Conducting regular audits to see whether the screenings were happening; tracking which patients sat at the edge of the bed, sat in a chair, ambulated
  • Creating a brochure about the program that's given to families at admission
  • Posting "mile markers" around the unit so patients could see how far they'd walked
  • Awarding gold medals to patients who walked the entire unit; and
    posting staff reward boards with prizes

Matthys says having the entire unit involved in the initiative showed that there is strength in numbers.

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4 comments on "ICU Mobility Program Saves $500K in 6 Months"


Paula Pless (5/6/2014 at 1:45 PM)
The article does not indicate how the patients were mobilized. In order to make it easier, safer and more efficient SPH equipment needed to be used. What equipment facilitated the early movement of dependent patients? As well as how were patients mobilized while they were improving their functional mobility status? It is critical that we recognize the need for patient lift equipment to mobilize patients who would otherwise in the "old days" be manually lifted. The reason why many patients are not mobilized early on is due to the physicality of manually lifting and the lack of SPH equipment. Quality and length of stay gain a positive impact from SPH programs. I am assuming that this facility has ceiling lifts, Booms and other SPH equipment. I wish the article would have detailed those important details. Could someone respond and indicate the SPH piece of this success story. Paula Pless Director SPH Kaleida Health Western NY

Patti Williams, RN (3/24/2014 at 1:37 PM)
Kudos to the Nurses at Duke Raleigh Hospital!!

Stefani Daniels (3/18/2014 at 6:27 PM)
I don't know if I should be happy or humiliated...as a critical care nurse in the 1970s, getting patients out of bed - especially the fresh CABG patients, was an expectation not an event.