October 2019 Member Newsletter

Editor: Beth Furlong, PhD, JD, RN

October 2019 Guest Column

Employee Engagement: The Key to Safe Patient Handling Program Promotion and Culture Change

Program Manager, Safe Patient Handling and Mobility, Workforce Safety, Northwell Health, NY

Employee engagement is a concrete strength that grounds and unites every employee with one’s workplace. Evidence collected by human resource (HR) specialists and researchers has discovered that passionate workers are a productive asset to the team! Therefore, it is imperative for safe patient handling leaders at every institution and organization to incorporate different predictors of successful engagement. There must be adequate resources (staffing, equipment and champions), culture (a culture of safety that shifts away from “Shame and Blame”), perceived organizational/leadership support and rewards and recognition to assist with employee engagement to ensure the sustainability of safe patient handling and mobility programs.
Thus, the big question is, how can an organization engage staff in safe patient handling initiatives?

To increase employee engagement and further promote safe patient handling programs, Northwell Health’s Workforce Safety team offers a unique event annually called “Safe Patient Handling Olympics.” A team of multidisciplinary employees from facilities across all of the health system participate in this event. Each participating team is made up of 3-6 employees who have received specialized training from onsite safe patient handling program champions and are active partners in applying safe patient mobility techniques at their facilities. Four clinical case scenarios with standardized patients are presented to each team with the objective to accomplish various mobility tasks using appropriate safe patient handling practices. Elements within each task are assessed by two evaluators with safe patient handling expertise and additional input is offered by the standardized patient as well.

Safe Patient Handling Olympics enhanced employee engagement by building a culture of safety that engaged staff to participate in safe mobility practices while improving overall safety. Employees took training for the Olympics as an opportunity to provide countless hours of training to team members who then became champions and continued to train others. Champions who were part of the Olympics exhibited a more profound sense of connection with promoting a culture of safety. Champions also report that they feel an increased sense of ownership when it comes to safe patient handling program in their units and consider feel more connected to the success of this program from an accountability stand point.

Ongoing engagement from employees is a vital element in the successful sustainability of a safe patient handling program. Organizing team events is one of the ways in which this can be achieved. While success is a reflection of leadership, when it comes to application of a team leadership concept, the more each employee views oneself as a leader and is treated as a leader, the larger the footprint of success would be.

To all the safe patient handling leaders out there, I ask, “Do you lead your safe patient handling program, or does each member of your team lead it?”


Safe Patient Handling Olympics
Photography by Paul Power


























































































Eastern Kentucky University2019 Professional Achievement Award Winner

Eastern Kentucky University
2019 Professional Achievement Award Winner

Edward Hall, MS, CSP, CSPHP
ASPHP Vice President

Congratulations to Ed for the Professional Achievement Award from Eastern Kentucky University.

Ed has dedicated more than 20 years to the advancement and improvement of safe patient handling, the largest loss category in health care. He serves today as the chief safety officer of the Owner Controlled Insurance Program and executive director of risk management for Stanford Healthcare and Stanford Children’s Health in California. Ed oversees the risk program for hospital expansion and construction projects as well as workers compensation, claims and litigation and risk reduction programs.
Ed designed and implemented programs which have drastically improved the effectiveness and efficiency of health care services in hospitals nationwide. He partnered with industry leaders nationwide to develop a business case for more than 60 hospitals or hospital systems, focusing his efforts on utilizing quantifiable data to identify risk reduction objectives and opportunities.

A nationally recognized expert in the field, he has received several notable honors. His leadership helped Stanford University Hospital and clinics earn a Best Practice award for safe patient handling. Additionally, Ed received the Malinda S. Mitchell Award for Excellence in Quality and Service, the highest honor given employees of Stanford Hospital and clinics.

Plan to Attend the 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event

Plan to Attend the 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event

SPHM…Basics and Beyond
March 2 – 5, 2020
Town and Country, San Diego, CA


Registration Opens Soon

The 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event will provide you with practical strategies and implementation tips that can be adapted and applied to your SPHM program, diverse SPHM educational topics, and up to 5 hours of “hands on” experiences. This event will provide the perfect opportunity to network, learn, and collaborate with peers. For more information on this event, please click here.

Are you new to the role of SPHM Coordinator? Are you an existing SPHM Coordinator looking for direction or a comprehensive action plan to move your SPHM program forward? Do you wonder how to involve the right individuals in your organization to drive practice change? We understand, and you are not alone! The ASPHP National Education Event will also offer a 1-½ day Pre-Conference Workshop – It Takes A Village. For more information, visit our event site.

Invest in Your Professional Development!

Do you have some “use it or lose it” budget left over for the year? Funds that you don’t spend this fiscal year might go to waste, let us help!

Spend some of those funds investing in your professional development! Online registration for the ASPHP 2020 National SPHM Education Event will be opening soon. In the meantime, please use this ASPHP event registration form to apply your 2019 funding. Learn more and download Event Registration Form here.

We look forward to seeing you in March 2020 in sunny San Diego!


Call for Poster Abstracts

Submitted abstracts will be peer-reviewed. Accepted abstracts will be included in the conference materials, and authors will receive a Certificate of Acknowledgment. For more information or to download the Poster Abstract Submission Form, please visit our website.

Call for Poster Abstracts – click here for more information. Submission Deadline: Nov 11, 2019


Great Marketing Opportunities to Connect and Get Results

Early Bird Ends Nov 1, 2019

The 2020 ASPHP National SPHM Education Event will be focused on our attendees’ top priorities. This event offers expanded coverage of key trends and drivers, more focused on hot topics and featuring new research. Our attendees will be those practicing in acute care and, of those, about 80% will be decision-making RNs – managers, team leaders, champions, WOCNs, bariatric nurses, and educators.

Our hands-on sessions will be scheduled in the exhibit hall using exhibitors’ equipment. The purpose of the hands-on is to provide attendees with case-based learning directed at maximizing exhibitors’ opportunity to actively problem solve cases using items from the vendors. This will provide you more opportunities to engage directly with event attendees.

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

Important Deadlines:
2020 National Event Exhibit and Sponsorship Early Bird – Nov 1, 2019
2020 National Event Poster Abstract Submission – Nov 11, 2019
2020 SPHM Advocacy Award Nomination – Jan 6, 2020

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.

Patient Handling and Mobility Assessments

Patient Handling and Mobility Assessments

Great news! The 2nd edition of Patient Handling and Movement Assessment (PHAMA) has just been released! The primary focus of the PHAMA is to assist design professionals in incorporating patient care ergonomics into healthcare design and construction. New information found in the 2nd edition is related to 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. Find it here free!

Upcoming ASPHP Webinar Series

Upcoming ASPHP Webinar Series

November 13, 2019
The Journey of Caring for Patient of Size, Admit to Discharge
Presented by: Rhonda Turner, MSN-LD, RN, CSPHA

Learn More