The patient experience of patient handling

Ms Zoe Moss1, Ms Antoinet Staneke1

1Metro North Health, Brisbane, Australia

Over two years, Metro North Health (MNH) has undertaken a renewal of it’s safe patient handling program.  In order to obtain consumer input into this process, an online survey was developed to determine what factors contribute to patient comfort and satisfaction.  This survey remains open until June 2021 with the goal to obtain 100 responses.  It is anticipated that the information will transform patient handing practices to improve staff and patient safety across MNH and has the potential to be used by other health services to do the same.  The conference presentation will detail results from the survey.

McMillan, et al. (2018) reported the need to link patient handling initiatives with patient safety outcomes and integrate patient and worker safety activities and investments.  They reported a perception from coordinators of patient handling programs across Australia, that positive outcomes included enhanced patient comfort and independence; increased patient confidence in being transferred and; that these factors benefited staff ‘because when patients are … comfortable they are less likely to resist and are more cooperative.’

McMahon et al. (2010) explored the views of patients who had experienced being hoisted or moved with a slide sheet in a hospital setting in New Zealand.  They studied themes of anxiety, fear, safety, dignity, satisfaction, being informed, timeliness and respect.  Their study involved 44 participants who completed questionnaires on their experiences. At completion of the study, McMahon et al. recommended an increased sample size and to use the outcomes as training content indicators.


McMahon, A. and Cranswick, M.  (2010).  How was it for you?  The patient experience.  Presentation from the Australian Association of the Manual Handling of People Conference in Sydney.

McMillan, J., Moo, A., Newnam, S. and de Silva, A.  (2018).  Improvements in patient handling for worker and patient safety. [online] Available at:


Zoe Moss is an occupational therapist and the Patient Handling Coordinator for Metro North Health, where she provides training, education and staff support to embed safe patient handling as a core clinical skill in the delivery of care to health consumers.  Zoe has worked in a variety of occupational therapy roles in both public and private sectors in Australia and England and has maintained a passion for facilitating safe patient handling training for 17 years.  She is an avid mountain biker and loves camping with her family.

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