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AAOHN J. 2006 Aug;54(8):355-8.

Zero lift programs in small rural hospitals in Washington state: reducing back injuries among health care workers.

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Washington Hospital Services, Seattle, USA.


In Washington State, health care workers have the highest rate of compensable back injuries. Washington Hospital Services, a self-insured workers' compensation program, implemented a zero lift program in 31 of its 38 hospitals. Zero lift was defined as replacing manual lifting, transferring, and re-positioning of patients with mechanical lifting or use of other patient assist devices. This program included two trusts, two pools of hospitals that self-insure workers' compensation. The pools are governed by elected boards of trustees from the pool memberships and regulated by the State Department of Labor and Industries. This pretest-posttest descriptive study compared patient-handling injury data prior to program implementation with those after program implementation. Patient-handling injury claims decreased by 43% in the participating hospitals from 2000 to 2004 (i.e., from 3.51 to 2.23). The time lost frequency rate decreased by 50% (i.e., from 1.91 to 1.03).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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