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Impact of a Safe Resident Handling Program in Nursing Homes on Return-to-Work and Re-injury Outcomes Following Work Injury
  • Published Date:
    Jun 2019
  • Source:
    J Occup Rehabil. 29(2):286-294
  • Language:
    English


Public Access Version Available on: June 01, 2020 information icon
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    29785467
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6422723
  • Description:
    Purpose

    This study examined the impact of a Safe Resident Handling Program (SRHP) on length of disability and re-injury, following work-related injuries of nursing home workers. Resident handling-related injuries and back injuries were of particular interest.

    Methods

    A large national nursing home corporation introduced a SRHP followed by three years of training for 136 centers. Lost-time workers’ compensation claims (3 years pre-SRHP and 6 years post-SRHP) were evaluated. For each claim, length of first episode of disability and recurrence of disabling injury were evaluated over time. Differences were assessed using Chi square analyses and a generalized linear model, and “avoided” costs were projected.

    Results

    The SRHP had no impact on length of disability, but did appear to significantly reduce the rate of recurrence among resident handling-related injuries. As indemnity and medical costs were three times higher for claimants with recurrent disabling injuries, the SRHP resulted in significant “avoided” costs due to “avoided” recurrence.

    Conclusions

    In addition to reducing overall injury rates, SRHPs appear to improve long-term return-to-work success by reducing the rate of recurrent disabling injuries resulting in work disability. In this study, the impact was sustained over years, even after a formal training and implementation program ended. Since back pain is inherently a recurrent condition, results suggest that SRHPs help workers remain at work and return-to-work.

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