According to a study by Edith Cowan University (ECU), healthcare professionals in Western Australia face an increased risk of injury from treating more and more obese patients.
WA nurses, orderly people, and other patient care professionals have the highest risk of musculoskeletal injuries, according to a study by the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, ECU, on the back, wrists, knees, and shoulders during handling. Reports of injuries are increasing. Obese patients..
This is a growing problem, with 42% of Australia’s population projected to become obese by 2035.
Principal researcher Kim McLean said staff are at additional risk due to inadequate recording procedures.
“Patient underreporting turned out to be high level obesityDespite statistics showing the obesity rate of patients with a potential of 33%, only 11% were coded as obesity, “McClean said.
“Without it Accurate data We cannot guarantee that the hospital has the proper equipment, staff level, or training to mitigate the risk to nurses and other medical staff. ”
Physical and financial burden
According to a study, 46% of nursing assistants reported injuring themselves while lifting, moving, or helping patients, and 40% were injured when performing these tasks. I am reporting.
In addition, 50% of nursing staff are considering quitting their jobs due to physical stress or injury.
Inadequate records of patient obesity, McClean said, means that WA hospitals will reimburse medical institutions based on the type of patient care provided and the equipment needed to provide it. It also means that you are missing out on a significant amount of activity-based funding (ABF).
“Treatment of obese patients costs more, but poor records of obesity reduce the potential funding of hospitals. Case Study $ 2.3 million a year. ”
How to move forward
McClean’s latest research shows that this issue can be addressed.
For more than 12 months, nursing staff participated in educational sessions emphasizing how to accurately record obesity data, how to measure the height of bedless patients who were given a tape measure, and the patient’s body mass index (BMI). Taught other ways to find and record more accurately.
After the study, patients’ BMI records increased from 6% to 33% and height measurements increased from 12% to 33%.
There was also a more accurate record of obesity. This could be easier for staff workers as hospitals move to electronic health records, McClean said.
“We need to consider user-friendly improvements such as forced records of patient weight and height, implantable and automatic BMI calculators, and’checkboxes’ for obesity that can affect treatment,” she said. rice field.
“In the meantime, improvements can be made by educating workers and ensuring that staff record the information they need, with the goal of recording 100% of the patient’s weight, height and BMI.
“All of this enhances the ability to use obesity data to reduce health care potential. staff Injured and the hospital receives the required ABF refund. “
“Evaluation of Efficacy of Clinical Interventions in Increasing Obesity Data Records at Country Health Services Hospitals in Western Australia: Quasi-Experimental Controlled Trials” Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare..
Kim McClean et al, Assessing the Effectiveness of Clinical Interventions in Increasing Obesity Data Records at Country Health Services Hospitals in Western Australia: Quasi-Experimental Control Study, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare (2021). DOI: 10.2147 / JMDH.S325903
Edith Cowan University
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Healthcare workers at high risk of injury when helping obese patients
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