Safe patient handling and mobility webinar on July 15 with Dr. Susan Gallagher

Patient hazards, safety protocols and need to advocate for vulnerable patients all featured topics of Medline Uplift hosted event

By Medline Newsroom Staff | July 13, 2021

The benefits of early mobilization include reduced ICU-acquired weakness, improved functional recovery within the hospital, improved walking distance at hospital discharge and reduced hospital length of stay.

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, Medline’s Uplift program will host a webinar titled, “Safe Patient Handling & Mobility: Practices for Vulnerable Populations.” The hour-long event, beginning at noon CDT, will feature Dr. Susan Gallagher, a certified safe patient handling professional and nurse. She is a recognized expert in safety and outcomes with an emphasis on safe patient handling and mobility, bariatrics, skin and wound care and loss of control. She is also past president of the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (ASPHP).

Topics to be discussed during the webinar include:

·         Practical steps to address the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) needs of patients whose age, weight or profound physical condition may impact care.

·         Examples of assistive devices that ensure safe patient mobility while also minimizing care provider injuries.

·         The specific hazards of immobility that affect vulnerable patients and resident populations across the continuum of care.

·         How to support and advocate for a better understanding of patient vulnerability, and the need for mobility procedures, within your organization.

Patient Assessments

Dr. Gallagher will discuss the Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool (BMAT), used to assess a patient’s mobility in real time. Screening or mobility assessments help healthcare personnel track progress and provide criteria to match a patient’s mobility level with the appropriate equipment to promote intensity and frequency of activity.

Webinar attendees will also learn how to conduct a gap analysis to better understand the equipment, training policies and procedures that each specific hospital or care unit needs to be successful.

“It is not a one size fits all situation to decide what tools are needed to execute early mobility,” said Dr. Gallagher. “Equipment types and amounts differ depending on the number of patients, body indexes and patient mobility levels.”

Hazards of Immobility

In the webinar, Dr. Gallagher will cover hazards of immobility including pressure injuries, obesity and skin health. She will also share findings of the 2017 Growden study₁ that led to a 56 percent decrease in falls₂.

“The long-term consequences of immobility are well documented. Whether we are talking about a young person who is immobile in the ICU or a frail elderly person in a long-term care facility, both sets of patients need to move,” added Gallagher.


“When there are delays in access, the patient pays the price,” added Gallagher. “Advocates need to learn how to approach conversations with different audiences to win outcomes.”

Dr. Gallagher will discuss how to talk with leadership, management, staff, patients, families and residents to get their support when it comes to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable patient and resident categories.

The future of SPHM

Universal SPHM standards are required to protect healthcare providers and patients across the continuum of care. Without a concerted effort, more patients and staff will be needlessly injured.

“We are already seeing the distinction between passive and active tasks. Active mobility tasks will be integrated into all safety initiatives in the future,” said Gallagher. “Nurses, therapists, department managers in risk management, quality and safety professionals, as well certified nursing assistants (CNAs), will need to adapt quickly in this new paradigm.”

Recent case studies will be shared with the audience on the state of the SPHM practice, bariatric space design and technology, and the outlook for this segment of care.  A 15-minute Q&A will conclude the event.

To register for the webinar, please visit Safe Patient Handling & Mobility: Practices for Vulnerable Populations (

Learn more about Medline’s Uplift program.


₁ Growden ME, Shorr RI, Inouye SK. The tension between promoting mobility and preventing falls in the hospitals, JAMA Inter Med. 2017;177(6):759-760.
₂ Hempel S, et al. Review of the evidence on falls prevention in hospitals. Task 4: Final report. Working Paper prepared for AHRQ. February 2012.


Categories: Caregiver Readiness, Patient Experience, Skin Health

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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