Medical Practitioners Insurance Tips - Five Patient Handling Myths

Medical Practitioners Insurance Tips - Five Patient Handling Myths

If you are running a health centre or other medical clinic you are probably aware that one of the main causes of injury to your nurses and medical staff is musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  

Should a member of your team suffer an injury as a result of their employment, you could be held responsible and face a compensation claim under the Employers Liability element of your Medical Practitioners Insurance.


Why Are MSD’s So Common?

In the majority of cases, these injuries are due to overexertion related to repeated manual patient handling activities, often involving heavy manual lifting associated with transferring and repositioning patients and working in extremely awkward postures.

Some examples of patient handling tasks that can be identified as high-risk include transferring a patient from bed to a chair, moving from a bath to chair, repositioning from side to side in bed, lifting a patient in bed and repositioning a patient in a chair or making a bed with a patient in it.

What Are The Consequences of Musculoskeletal Injuries?

The impact of work-related musculoskeletal injuries can be significant.  

Not only are employee injuries costly in terms of increased liability insurance costs, but the reduction in staff attendance can also put pressure on services levels, potentially leading to a negative impact on your income.

In addition, health care staff who are experiencing pain or fatigue may be less productive, less attentive and susceptible to further injury.  

All of these issues could potentially have a negative impact on staff morale and increase the risk of patient injuries through employee negligence and costly claims under your Medical Malpractice Insurance.

How To Prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders

The positive news is that employee MSDs can be prevented.  "Safe patient handling" risk management programmes can significantly reduce the risk of injuries to both health care employees and patients, while also improving the quality of your patient care.

5 Myths of Patient Handling

One of the key challenges an employer will face when implementing a risk management programme is overcoming some of the common misconceptions about patient handling practices.

To help you separate fact from fiction, take a look at some of the common myths surrounding patient handling.

Myth #1

Mechanical lifting is not as safe and comfortable for patients as manual lifting.

Reality: Once patients realise the ease and comfort of modern mechanical lifts, they will be more likely to accept them. Mechanical lifts are safer for both patients and health care workers.

Myth #2

Training and use of proper body mechanics (including the use of back belts) are effective in preventing job-related injuries.

Reality: Research shows that relying on ‘proper’ body mechanics (including the use of back belts) is not, by itself, an effective way to prevent injuries. There is no such thing as 100 per cent safe manual lifting of a patient.


Myth #3

You do not need to worry about patient-handling injuries if your workers are healthy and have never had problems.

Reality: Manual lifting can cause micro-injuries to the spine. Although workers may not feel the effects immediately, cumulative micro-injuries can result in a debilitating injury.

Good health and strength may actually put workers at increased risk because their peers are much more likely to seek their assistance when manually lifting patients.

Myth #4

It is much faster to manually move patients.

Reality: If the equipment is located conveniently, accessing it will not take a long time. It is often more time-consuming to round up a team of workers to manually lift a patient than to get safe patient handling equipment.

Myth #5

Manual lifting is less expensive than mechanical lifting.

Reality: Research shows that the use of assistive technology, such as mechanical lifts, reduces injuries to workers and lowers costs associated with medical expenses, lost productivity and employee turnover.

FREE Medical Centre Insurance Review

Insync specialises in insurance cover for the Medical profession.  Whether you operate a medical centre or private hospital we can find the right level of cover to meet your needs.  

As well as the property and liability risk, we can arrange specialist Medical Malpractice Insurance, either individually or for an entire practice.

You can request a quotation online, alternatively, why not book a free review with one of our expert Gurus at a time that suits YOUR diary.