Considering purchasing new equipment for your OR related to surgical mobility? Patient transport and transfer products, as well as mobile surgical equipment such as carts, need to be safe and efficient for your surgical staff and patients. So, we asked manufacturers of surgical mobility equipment: what should OR staff members consider when purchasing this equipment? Here, Katie Kramer, Marketing Communication Manager at HoverTech International offers her advice related to surgical patient transfer equipment.

1. Patient & Caregiver Safety. The right transfer equipment can make all the difference in providing a safer surgical environment for staff and patients. When choosing surgical mobility equipment for lateral patient transfers, primary consideration should be given to the level of safety the product offers for the caregiver and the patient. 

Lateral transfer devices can dramatically reduce the force needed to move a patient, which protects staff’s backs. But, not all lateral transfer devices are created equally. Look for products that protect patients as well, and choose one that reduces bumping, bruising and skin shear.

Know the differences between friction-reducing, air-assisted and mechanical transfer devices and let your staff trial them to determine which is perceived as the “friendliest” to use. After all, the transfer device that will save more backs is the one that is used consistently.

2. Infection Control & Efficiency. Make your equipment work for you. Many of today’s transfer products are designed with the O.R. in mind. Look for transfer devices that offer superior infection control and are compatible with the surgical environment, including the room layout, equipment and procedures.

Some devices can remain beneath the patient during procedures, making post-op transfers more efficient and ultimately improving room turn-over time. To address infection control concerns, transfer products that can easily be cleaned and disinfected are also important in the O.R. Single-patient use or double-coated devices further address the needs of the surgical environment.
3. Cost-Effectiveness & Flexibility: To make the best investment, ensure that the transfer equipment can effectively accommodate a wide range of patient weights and sizes. In doing so, you’ll be protecting both the caregivers performing the transfer and the patient. 

Select equipment that can help staff to safely move patients in the bariatric population, who may weigh up to 700 or 800 pounds. While your patient population may not near those weights on a daily basis, an unforeseen or emergency case could require your staff to perform transfers that push the safety boundaries. 

Being well prepared for difficult transfers ultimately translates into long-term cost savings for the facility in the way of reduced patient and caregiver injuries and their resultant costs.