Interdisciplinary teams launch inpatient mobility initiative

By Kati Harlan

Get Up and MoveThe Shands at UF interdisciplinary Mobility Task Force team promotes a pervasive commitment to inpatient mobility by educating physicians, nurses,  support staff, patients and families that mobility must be a priority. Members of the task force include representatives from Neurosurgery, Administration,  Nursing, Physical Therapy, Operations and Quality. Our promise is to ensure that our patients receive the highest quality care to help them maintain or regain muscle strength.

Why is mobility important? Reduced mobility and bed rest are common in hospitalized patients, who may be deconditioned due to inactivity related to their  admitting illness or surgical interventions.

Early mobilization can reduce complications such as:

  • skin breakdown
  • blood clots
  • pneumonia
  • loss of muscle mass

Our initiative is tagged “Get up and move!” The Task Force has developed mobility guidelines to launch cultural and logistical changes for the care of our  inpatient population. Our overarching goal is to reduce inpatient morbidity and facilitate patient recovery.

Our guideline includes:

  • All patients are assessed for mobility/ambulation upon admission and during every shift while hospitalized using a mobility assessment tool.
  • We use a validated process to guide progressive mobilization for ICU patients.
  • Bed rest is not the default activity parameter. All bed rest orders are reassessed daily by the health care team.
  • Patient safe handling equipment is used by the care team to aid mobilization.
  • All patients are required to be out of bed for meals unless there is a clear and distinct contraindication, which must be documented by the physician.
  • There is involvement and coordination with the interdisciplinary team, the patient and their family in the individualized mobility plan of care.
  • Daily mobility goals will be clearly displayed on each inpatient’s white communication board in each patient room.

The support tech serves as a key resource position. Each tech is responsible as a mobility assistant working with nursing to optimize patient mobility. Patient  feedback has been extremely positive — patients and families tell us they appreciate an assigned caregiver to help them “get up and move!”

To achieve our Mobility Task Force goals at UF&Shands we must embrace our evidence-based interventions to improve patient mobility, resulting in positive  patient experiences and outcomes.

Thank you for your support as we empower our patients to mobilize.