Patient lifts, long used in hospitals and other health-care institutions and now used in homes, may soon gain renewed attention. As an increasing percentage of Americans become elderly, it is believed that the number of geriatric centers, traditionally one of the primary settings for the use of lifts, will also rise. The emergence of stricter cost-containment measures and the resultant downscaling of clinical staff will encourage institutions to purchase and use assistive equipment such as patient lifts.
Addressing this renewed interest, ECRI has produced a comprehensive evaluation of 1 5 patient lift models from eight manufacturers. ECRI is a nonprofit research and biomedical engineering organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care.
The evaluation will be of interest to institutions considering purchasing lifts and those that prescribe equipment for home care. It discusses key factors to consider, focusing on issues of equipment performance, safety, and ease of use.
ECRI believes that a large number of patient lifts are abandoned in hospitals and homes as a consequence of poor selection. Purchasers can use the factors discussed in the evaluation, along with consideration of patient condition, level of lift operator training, and equipment cost, to help reduce this waste in the already financially distressed health-care institutions.
For more information, contact Chris Lavanchy, ECRI, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462; 215-8256000.