Hercules Repositioner

Patient handling, such as boosting, transferring, and sliding, is a common activity in health care, with the average caregiver boosting eleven times per shift. This results in a physical burden for staff due to the frequency of lifting/lowering or pushing/pulling movements that require high forces and awkward or static postures as well as increased patient risk. The Hercules Patient Repositioner can improve both issues and help us achieve our True North goal of being the best place to give and receive high-quality care for our community. ICU Clinical Nurse Manager Patricia Gouveia MSN, RN NE-BC explains, “This device is a tremendous support for both the physical therapists and the staff. It saves our workers’ backs, reduces friction and shearing to the patient’s skin, and allows the patient to be boosted in bed more efficiently as one person can perform the task.”

Pressure on Caregivers

Back injuries and related muscle strains of the upper body are common injuries seen amongst caregivers and account for 52% of all health care worker injuries. Surprisingly, health care worker injury rates are greater than those of construction, logging, and manufacturing workers.

Further compounding this issue is the current nationwide staffing crisis. These types of patient movements often require multiple staff to be available with some patients requiring up to four staff just to reposition a patient in bed. As many as 20% of nurses who leave direct patient care positions do so because of physical risks associated with the work.

Benefits to Patients

The risk is not only to the caregivers. Patients benefit from proper bed positioning with improved respiration, reduced aspiration risk, and lower pressure positioning to reduce strain and sores. Thanks to the decreased demand on staff, patients also see quicker response times, better comfort, less pain, and improved clinical outcomes.

Return on Investment

Direct and indirect costs associated with back injuries in the health care industry are estimated to be $20 billion annually. Patient transfer and lifting devices are key components of an effective program to control the risk of injury to patients and staff associated with lifting, transferring, repositioning or movement of patients. In response, we are looking to alternative technologies and equipment to decrease the caregiver burden while maintaining the high level of care our patients deserve.

The Hercules Patient Repositioner completely removes the need for a staff person to lift, push, or pull to reposition a patient in the bed, reducing the risk of injury to 0%. The device is installed on existing bed frames, using an aviation-grade roller to slowly adjust the bottom sheet to the proper height, returning the patient to a proper position in the bed.  This is all done with just the touch of a button and only one staff member. In addition to the reduced staff work burden and risk for injury ($24,000/injury), this device also has been proven to decrease hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by 25%, which are publicly reported and cost on average $43,000 per incident. The average return on investment on the Hercules Patient Repositioner within the first year is $200,000, with a 10-year savings of approximately $2 million dollars.