Caregiver Injury Reduction with Non Powered Reactive Support Surface Position System (NRSSPS)

Jan Kass, RN CWON, Wound Healing Service, Sharp Coronado Hospital and Healthcare Center, Coronado, CA

Caregiver injury reduction with Non Powered Reactive Support Surface Position System (NRSSPS)  Economic Impact of a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) System on Staff and Safety in a Long Term Acute Care Unit


Study took place in a 210 bed community hospital, with a 64 bed long term acute care (LTAC) unit that serves chronic critically ill patients.  Common diagnosis include: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, muscular dystrophy, quadreplegia and stroke. Patients are predominantly immobile, ventilator dependent or assisted.

Patients require side to side repositioning and boosting in bed, placing staff at risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD). .  The average cost of modified duty, for a staff injury is estimated at $15,600.00. (OSHA, 2011) 


11 states including California are mandated to implement Safe Patient Handling Mobility (SPHM), including technology to aide in the movement, transfer and positioning of patients. In 2014, 9 injuries in our LTAC were related to patient positioning.   Lack of a standardized turning and repositioning system posed a challenge.

Objective: Reduce Caregiver Injury using a Non Powered Reactive Support Surface Position System (NRSSPS)

Positive air displacement and nylon fabric decrease pressure, friction and shear. The system includes a fluidized positioner. Long handles for turning promote proper ergonomics.




Over one year, sixty patients aged 20-60 who met inclusion criteria were placed on the NRSSPS.

Staff were instructed in correct use of the NRSSPS. Injury rates were compared to the prior year.


Reported MSD patient positioning injuries decreased from nine in 2014 to one in 2015, realizing a savings of $108,848.00.

Conclusion:  The use of the NRSSPS as part of a comprehensive SPHM program, contributed to the reduction of staff injury. Further research is needed to determine the effects of using a NRSSPS to offload boney prominences and decrease hospital acquired pressure injury.