Accommodating obese people
Lifting, handling and transferring large patients has always been a concern for hospital leaders. Between 20, the proportion of Americans with a body mass index of 40 or higher increased 70% to more than 15 million adults, or 6.6% of the population, according to a study in International Journal of Obesity.But the issue has gotten greater attention as the U. Not all obese patients require special care, but those with a BMI of 40 or more are considered class III and need specialized weight equipment.New FGI recommendations are expected to be released in the next few months.“Hospitals are trying to make accommodations, but the report card is incomplete,” said Charles Griffin, president of the Academy of Architecture for Health, a part of the American Institute of Architects.
Officials at Bailey Medical Center, just outside of Tulsa, Okla., say their 73-bed hospital was built specifically to address the community's high percentage of obese residents.Conyers' proposal gained support from the American Nurses Association, which says only 11 states currently have “safe patient handling” laws.In 2012, the ANA convened experts from numerous disciplines to develop a set of guidelines as a foundation for establishing comprehensive safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) programs.So the challenge for hospitals is “how do you plan for an undetermined population that's going to come in randomly with varying needs? Nevertheless, advocates and healthcare workers say it's worth the investment.“If nurses can't lift or reposition patients, it eventually leads to other economic consequences for the hospitals,” said Susan Gallagher Camden, an expert in healthcare risk management who has written about the topic for the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.