ASPHP Dec 2019 Newsletter – Special Edition with Certification Spotlight and Announcement

Editor: Beth Furlong, PhD, JD, RN

December 2019 Guest Column

Something is Missing from Your SPHM Program?

Robert Masterman, MSPT, CSPHC

Do you ever feel like something is missing from your SPHM program? It may be a lack of support from senior leadership, limited buy in from bedside caregivers or that you have a program that is not self-sustaining. Many SPHM programs start strong with a well-presented business case, leadership-sponsored support, purchase of new SPH equipment, policy implementation, initial in-service training and a group of similarly minded people who aim to help protect patients and caregivers from injury.

So why do many SPHM programs (like some other hospital initiatives) fizzle out after starting with a ‘Big Bang’ of enthusiasm? We have found it mostly has to do with collaboration, follow up and accountability. If any of these components are lacking, the program will struggle to stay on track. At our hospital, the SPHM team has existed in some way since 2007. We have had multiple derailments along the way, but I would like to share a few ideas that have helped us to move forward in a positive direction on our journey.

Initial SPHM training is part of Patient Centered Care Orientation (PCCO). We are in a state (NY) that has passed SPH legislation and requires initial and ongoing training as one of the mandates. We had been teaching an introduction to SPH for well over a decade prior. Looking back ten years ago, we had an hour to cover an overwhelming amount of material, and hands on time for learning was limited. The current presentation has been updated every six months to remain current. New employees who have clinical roles spend 2.5 hours with me and our CSPHAs who are also Lead PCTs on their work units.

Nurses practicing in both roles as caregiver and patient.

After a brief didactic presentation about the importance of SPHM, participants spend the rest of the time with hands on learning with reference to case studies and use of BMAT for nurses or the Egress Test for other bedside caregivers. We know that being able to speak to how the equipment is used can be different than actively using and demonstrating competent use (Khan, 2012). Following our session, participants are assigned an initial SPHM Achieve (computer-based learning) module to demonstrate a foundation of knowledge and application of techniques and equipment.



SPHM Unit Representatives
Our SPHM unit representatives are selected by their managers or volunteer based on their interest or current roles and responsibilities. The majority of our unit reps are experienced PCT’s, and we also have some LPN’s and RN’s in the role. They work closely with our unit educators and attend our monthly committee meetings. We have a SPHM Retreat twice a year to meet with the SPH unit reps and spend time getting acquainted with the equipment and each other. They are charged with rounding on their units, checking equipment and PAR levels, reporting damaged equipment or equipment in need of service, staff recognition and assisting with ongoing training as they are familiar with the culture on their respective units.





Lanyard Pins to Identify SPH Unit Reps

Ongoing Training
We review injury data quarterly with our Leave Administrator and HR manager to help determine where to start ongoing SPHM training. We track the high frequency departments, which had a range of 1 to 7 injuries for 2019. We found that six of the departments were on the high frequency list for 2018 as well. We started by focusing ongoing training on these units where it was needed most and scheduled a ‘SPH Month” for each patient care unit. Ongoing training takes place in small care groups of 2-5 participants on all three shifts. It lasts typically about 1 hour, depending on the size of the group. We review the use of the floor based SPH equipment, our air assist devices and friction reducing device. We relate SPH practice and a culture of safety back to the policies, the Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool and the Egress test depending on the audience. The participants take turns acting as the patient and the caregiver when possible to be able to relate and learn from the experience in both roles (Lee et al, 2018). We have found it is equally important to be able to relate back to Universal SPHM when educating. Following the hands on training, staff are again assigned an online Achieve module to help with retention of concepts and to test knowledge and application.

If you have trouble getting staff to attend, we found that reaching out multiple times prior to the training to the SPH unit reps, unit educator and nurse manager is imperative to the success on the unit. A midpoint check is completed with the nurse manager and accountability emails are sent to all staff who have not completed the training half way through the month. We emphasize that this is mandatory training, and that if staff attend outside of their scheduled work shift, then they are paid for their time. It is the responsibility of the SPH unit rep to meet with staff members who are unable to attend.

At least they are engaged and smiling at 0600!

Sometimes enthusiasm from staff can fluctuate. Comments that we hear: “We just did this in orientation.” “I don’t have time for this.” “I know this stuff; I’ve been a tech for 20 years.” Helpful responses: “This is ongoing training and it is required by law. Today we are going to focus on not just knowing but showing that you know what to do.” “Things may have changed a little, I would be surprised if we don’t learn something from each other.” And my final message as they are leaving is this: “Go and show a coworker something that you learned, protect them, protect yourselves and keep your patients safe from injury.”

Positive Reinforcement and Collaboration
We set up a program to recognize staff members for using safe patient handling techniques or equipment that were practiced during hands on training. Following their SPHM month, the nurse manager or unit educator on every patient care unit is provided with five “SPH Shining Example” certificates and five $5 gift cards that can be used in our gift shop, coffee shop or cafeteria. Every month following, a staff member is recognized for positive behavior reflective of SPHM in practice. This helps to keep the conversation about SPHM going for a full six months including training, instead of just focusing on revisiting a full year later.

We continue to work with our Nursing Professional Development team and Nursing Steering Committee to find effective ways to communicate with and educate our staff. It is a constant learning experience, and there is a lot of trial and error initially until you find what works for your organization.

A consistent message from all staff will help to keep your SPHM program moving forward in a positive direction. We must focus on rewarding for the safety of care and not the speed of care which we are providing. Ask those who have attended ongoing training to share with their colleagues what they have learned. Challenge them to use some of the techniques that they have learned with patients and colleagues during the next week. This is not easy work to do, but it is necessary and rewarding. Remind your staff that it takes a collaborative effort and a unified voice to maintain a SPHM program within a culture of safety.

Lee, C, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC , Knight ,SW, DNP, RN, Smith, SL, PhD, RN, Nagle DJ, MSN, RN-BC, DeVries, BA, MA, LPN. Safe Patient Handling and Mobility: Development of a Large-Scale Education Program. Critical Care Nurse Quarterly 41 (2018): 253-263.
Khan, K, and Ramchandran, S. Conceptual framework for performance assessment: Competency, competence and performance in the context of assessments in healthcare – Deciphering the terminology. Medical Teacher 34 (2012) 920-928.



Greetings members and all potential certificants,

Greetings members and all potential certificants,

To maintain security standards for our certification examinations, we will be updating our process for the CSPHC and CSPHP effective January 1, 2020. The following two changes will be implemented:

  1. All Clinician or Professional certification applicants will be required to submit their photo ID with their application (i.e. Driver’s License, State ID). If an applicant’s portfolio is accepted and they are approved to sit for the exam, they will be required to have a functioning webcam and their photo ID at the start of the examination.
  2. Examinations will be held only on scheduled dates and times throughout the year. A 2020 Examination Schedule is posted on the certification website. Once the exam is scheduled, an applicant will be issued a username, encrypted password and web link, that will be valid for the scheduled examination date and time. Any examination that must be rescheduled will result in a $50 rescheduling fee.

*Please Note: These changes do not affect any pending applicants approved and waiting to take an exam.

The ASPHP Certification and Renewal Committee

Make plans to attend March 2 – 5, 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event

Make plans to attend March 2 – 5, 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event

This is the time to reserve your place at our 2020 National SPHM Education Event.
The interactive, solutions-based program — to be held at Town & Country, San Diego, CA— will provide participants with practical strategies and implementation tips that can be adapted and applied to your safe patient handling programs. Special track for PT & OT will be offered.

In this program, you will learn:

  • Framework for program structure and management
  • Objective assessment of clinical excellence
  • Best practice and culture of excellence across the organization
  • Strengthen community confidence in the quality and safety of patient handling
  • Engage in the practical application of equipment, devices and tools across practice settings

For more information, visit Come join us.

Register Now

Hotel information
The National Event is being held at the
Click here for more information.



Understand Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease and Its Impact On SPHM

Understand Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease and Its Impact On SPHM

Are workers and patients/residents safe in your facility?
Do your colleagues understand Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease and its impact on SPHM?
What are the obesity-related injury trends in your practice setting?
Do you have a method to calculate the type and amount of equipment necessary for safe care?

Join the Post Event 4 hours Workshop at the 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event, March 2-5, 2020 at Town and Country, San Diego, CA

Planning SPH&M for the Individual with Obesity: A Practical Approach to Worker and Patient/Resident Safety
Presented by Andy Rich and Susan Gallagher
March 5, 2020 from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
This fast-paced, all-new interactive course describes a practical approach to planning care for individuals with obesity. Topics including demographics, outcomes, ergonomics, architecture, sensitivity, and more will be presented. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the latest technology, devices, and services to maximize your obesity specific SPH&M efforts. Participants will create tools, resources, and an executable action plan. Learn more…

For more information, visit

Register Now!

View our agenda here.

Receive a 10% discount on main event registration when a minimum of five employees from the same organization register at the same time. Must submit by mail or fax with payment.



We are proud to highlight Allison Dodge, CSPHA, a new SPHM certificant. Allison has been the Safe Patient Handling Assistant at Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse, NY for the past four years, but has worked at Upstate for a total of twelve years in other roles. Allison is married and has one son, Kole, who is three years old.

ASPHP: How did you get started in Safe Pt Handling?
AD: My manager knew I loved being involved with improving the unit, taking on more responsibility and wanted to advance in my role. She came across the Safe Patient Handling Committee and asked me if I would like to join—of course, I said yes. I love being on the frontline and learning about safe patient handling as well as being a resource for my co-workers to help keep them safe.

ASPHP: Can you describe your current role and responsibilities?
AD: I am responsible for a wide-range of tasks for our SPH Program. I am the Co-Chair of the SPH/Falls Committee and head the SPH Equipment Committee and the SPH Coaching Team. I also participate in policy development and rounding on the units with “just in time” education. I perform injury follow-up, make recommendations and do data analysis. I maintain our SPHM website and all education materials. I am also always looking for new SPHM equipment for staff to trial. All equipment decisions come from staff. Thus, I solicit their input of what we trial and buy.

ASPHP: When and why were you certified?
AD: I am proud to say I received my certification on July 8, 2019. It was something I was thinking about and looking into, but never researched it deep enough to get all the facts of what it really entailed. I would have to say it took some work to complete, but once I had finished and received my certification, what a “YAY” feeling it was. I could not have done it without the support of my current manager. If I did not have the support or drive to pursue it, I might have still had it on the back burner. I would now love to get the safe patient handling coaches involved!

ASPHP: How did you prepare for certification? And did you have an ASPHP mentor or anyone else that guided you?
AD: I did request assistance from a mentor, Sasha Latvala, who helped me through the process. I found it very helpful; a “second set of eyes” was key.

ASPHP: Have there been any changes in your role or in your organization as a result of certification?
AD: I’ve received recognition from the hospital, and my current manager is spreading the word! It’s also nice when people ask what my job title is. Now I can say Certified SPH Assistant. It has a nice ring to it!

2nd Edition of the Patient Handling and Movement Assessment (PHAMA) White Paper Released

2nd Edition of the Patient Handling and Movement Assessment (PHAMA) White Paper Released

The Federal Guidelines Institute (FGI) publishes guidance for the planning, designing, and constructing of health care and residential health, care, and support facilities. The FGI mission is to “establish and promote consensus-based guidelines and publications, advised by research, to advance quality health care”*. These guidelines can be adopted by states for regulatory purposes and other references in laws, codes, rules, and regulations. FGI continually monitors adoption of the Guidelines by state, federal, and independent accrediting organizations. FGI regularly updates an interactive map of states which have adopted these guidelines and which part of the guidelines they have adopted. According to the most recent update on November 25, 2019, 40 states have adopted some edition of the Guidelines, 6 states permit use of a more recent edition than what was adopted in some instances, 4 states allow the use of the guidelines as an alternate path to compliance in some instances, and 7 states do not officially use the Guidelines but most of these appear to use them as a reference**. The FGI also provides a map which indicates what version of the Guidelines are adopted by each state which is available here.

In 2010, a chapter on SPHM was added to the FGI Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. At that time the concept of SPHM and a related SPHM assessment was new to the Guidelines. In an effort to better inform the Guideline users on the ergonomic and design implications of implementing and sustaining SPHM programs, a Patient Handling and Movement Assessment white paper was written in support of the new SPHM information included in the Guidelines. The Guidelines were updated in 2014 and again in 2018. Over the past decade the field and practice of SPHM has grown and changed to include new technologies and best practices and increased focus on patient outcomes such as mobility. Therefore, a 2nd edition of the PHAMA white paper was recently released and, thanks to the support of Hill Rom, is now free to download from the FGI website.
New information found in the 2nd edition is related to updated SPHM related requirements in the 2018 FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction Documents. The PHAMA works to provide information ensuring appropriate design for the safe care of individuals of size and for the mobilization of patients, a key factor in positive patient outcomes. The PHAMA goes into detail on how to initiate and maintain successful Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) Programs as well as providing information on making the business case for SPHM Programs. It also relays why SPHM Programs benefit patients/residents, caregivers, and healthcare organizations.

Mary W. Matz, MSPH, COE, CSPHP, principal author of the second edition explains, “Increasingly, bodies of evidence point toward mobilization as the single most important method to impact patient outcomes, such as reducing the number of [health care-associated] infections and patients’ length of stay in the hospital, as well as shortening time needed for rehabilitation. Such essential mobilization depends on the use of patient handling technology that is determined through the use of a patient handling and mobility assessment.”

* Accessed November 25, 2019.


Submitted by Kelsey McCoskey, MS, OTR/L, CPE, CSPHP

New Membership Benefit: Access Granted to Exclusive Email Discussion List

New Membership Benefit: Access Granted to Exclusive Email Discussion List

A new members-only discussion forum, called ASPHP Discussion Group, will provide an online space for those in the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals to address industry-related topics. This Discussion Group, also known as an electronic mailing list, allows ASPHP members to interact through the convenience of email messaging.

Log in to post comments, questions, clinical research or industry-related news to others who have a common interest in safe patient handling and mobility. Fellow members can respond or simply read what has been posted. The ASPHP Discussion Group is a way to socialize and network from anywhere around the world. Each member can decide if he or she wants to actively participate or be a ‘fly on the wall’ simply observing.

Get started by clicking here to read participation rules and etiquette tips, then head to the Discussion Group to join the conversation. We’re Stronger Together!

2020 SPHM Advocacy Award

2020 SPHM Advocacy Award

ASPHP is actively involved in putting together an outstanding educational event for March, 2020 in San Diego. For several years now the ASPHP has annually recognized an individual for their advocacy efforts in the field of patient handling and mobility. Next year the Advocacy Award will be given out at the ASPHP educational event. We appreciate all of the hard work being done by everyone across the SPHM spectrum: healthcare organizations, equipment designers, risk management groups, and others.

As an association dedicated to improving the safety of caregivers and their patients by advancing the science and practice of safe patient handling, we want to acknowledge those efforts. If you or someone you know deserves to be recognized for their exceptional SPHM advocacy efforts, please take the time to fill out the nomination form found on this page and send it back to the ASPHP before January 6th, 2020. This individual will be notified and recognized during the ASPHP event.

Hillrom and Guldmann’s Continued Sponsorship

Hillrom and Guldmann’s Continued Sponsorship

The ASPHP’s Board of Directors thanks


for their continued Silver sponsorship!

ASPHP Invited Only Session

ASPHP Invited Only Session

The 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event offers a special vendor-only event presented by a leading content expert Tony Hilton, DrPH, RN, MSN, FNP, CRRN, titled “Planning for the Future: What your Customers Need Today and Tomorrow. In this presentation, Dr. Hilton will describe unmet needs in the VA and private section in terms of equipment, technology, soft goods, services and more. Take this opportunity to hear about ideas that can keep you and your company moving in a direction that meets your customers actual needs today and in the future.

Dr. Hilton is the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) National Program Manager for the Veterans Health Administration in Washington DC. Click here to learn more.

This presentation will only be offered to committed vendors of the national event. Don’t miss this opportunity to understand current gaps in safe patient handling technology and services.

Sign up now! Booth spaces and sponsorship opportunity will be sold out soon.

Exhibit To maximize your experience with ASPHP, we offer a variety of sales packages designed to suit your specific sales needs. Please feel free to contact us about our innovative strategy for getting you in front of prospective customers by partnering with ASPHP in this state-of-the-art event.

Download Exhibit Prospectus
Download Exhibit Registration Form

For more information, contact Annie Wiest at

Upcoming ASPHP Webinar Series

Upcoming ASPHP Webinar Series

January 8th, 2020
Rehab and Safe Patient Handling: Avoiding Injury in the Workplace
Presented by: Stephanie Bendinelli DPT, CSPHC from OhioHealth

February 12th, 2020
Recovery Models for Healthcare Workers
Presented by: Vicki Missar MS, CPE, SSBB, CSPHP, CHSP, AON