A large nursing home corporation implemented a safe resident handling program (SRHP) in 2004-2007. We evaluated its efficacy over a 2-year period by examining differences among 5 centers in program outcomes and potential predictors of those differences. We observed nursing assistants (NAs), recording activities and body postures at 60-second intervals on personal digital assistants at baseline and at 3-month, 12-month, and 24-month follow-ups. The two outcomes computed were change in equipment use during resident handling and change in a physical workload index that estimated spinal loading due to body postures and handled loads. Potential explanatory factors were extracted from post-observation interviews, investigator surveys of the workforce, from administrative data, and employee satisfaction surveys. The facility with the most positive outcome measures was associated with many positive changes in explanatory factors and the facility with the fewest positive outcome measures experienced negative changes in the same factors. These findings suggest greater SRHP benefits where there was lower NA turnover and agency staffing; less time pressure; and better teamwork, staff communication, and supervisory support.
© 2012 American Society for Healthcare Risk Management of the American Hospital Association.