eUlift is an Erasmus+ project (2016-2019) which provides a full training in patient handling for caregivers and for trainers.
Our project aims for a long-term solution from a self-regulated perspective and integrates an innovative approach, i.e. an app that can be consulted at every step. We paid particular attention to detailed descriptions of the specific patient handling techniques, postures, and movements. We also explicitly focused on an academic approach with regard to training the caregivers (see the Train the trainer manual).
As a theoretical framework, an e-book was developed with full explanation concerning general ergonomics, anatomy, biomechanics, general causes of back pain, pathology, pain education, postures, natural movement, basic postures and movements and basic care tasks. All illustrated with pictures. It is completed by 3D animations of handling scenarios.
The app is easy to use and developed to be used in practice. The app is free, available in the stores and fully accessible in Dutch, English, Spanish, Hungarian and soon to be French.
Determination of patient’s mobility
In the app the Banner Mobility Assessment Tool guides you to determine the patients’ mobility level, and leads to a customized 3D animation of a patient handling technique. The use of this validated assessment is an added value to any care facility to improve patient safety.
Once you know your patients mobility level, you can immediately go the patient handling trainer to choose the transfer you need and watch the 3D animation.
3D animations in the app
Our avatars Nina (caregiver) and Jacob (patient) demonstrate all postures, movements and transfer techniques.
With the 3D animations you can rotate until you have the angle of your preference (f.e. have a closer look at the position of the feet); you also have the option to pause, go 3sec forward or backward.
Basic postures and movements are documented with animations in the app as well.
All animations are short, detailed and provided with key points.
At our website: https://eulift-app.com/ you can find a full train-the-trainer manual with didactics, learning outcomes and tips in how to implement the tool in your practice. This manual is also available in Dutch, English, Spanish and Hungarian, and soon to be in French.
This free app is developed with partners in 5 European countries and comes in 4 languages (English/Dutch/Spanish/Hungarian). Our partners are: VIVES University College of Applied Sciences, Belgium; AZ Alma, Belgium; Nordic Health, Netherlands; Athlon, Spain; David, Finland; David, Hungary and Securex, Belgium.
The app is available for free on App Store and on Google Play and information on eulift-app.com/en/
You could ask for more information on the form available at eulift-app.com/en/contact/, or by e-mail contact [at] eulift-app.comclass="link-article", phone or address (on webpage).
The eUlift project is externally financed by EPOS, the Belgian national agency of Erasmus+. The idea for the project had been growing for a couple of years from a practical need. The book “Ruggensteun voor zorgverleners" (Goderis, Vandewalle & Maes, 2017) was in need of a revision, and patient handling techniques required a more elaborate description. Stemming from a practical need, we combined all of the best evidence with innovative strategies and started looking for partners with complementary expertise.
We defined 5 outputs:
This e-book came about in close cooperation with all partners, based on best practices and best evidence. It is available in the language of each participating country.
To collect the current best practices concerning lifting techniques for caregivers, we created a survey for patient handling trainers. As the focus was on the trainer and not the trainee, we did not expect many answers. Together with all the project partners, and based on our own best practices, we defined what we thought were the current best practices. The survey focused on basic patient handling principles, and addressed the naming of the techniques, whether the trainers knew them, whether they taught them and whether they agreed on key points for the nine following postures or movements:
- Bank posture
- Forward/backward weight shift
- Lateral transfer
- Golfer’s movement
The survey also covered general ergonomic principles.
All partners spread the survey in their network, accompanied by a motivation and an explanation of our project. In total, we collected 57 answers. All scores below 75 % were discussed and best practices were changed where necessary. Of all the basic postures and movements, 82,78 % used them as described and 80,84 % of participants taught them in the way we described to the caregiver. Of all the basic postures and movements, 83,94 % agreed with the named key points. Participants were questioned about general ergonomic principles, and 93,50 % agreed with the importance of these principles.
Although not proven effective in patient handling, OSHA guidelines and ISO/TR 12296:2012 were the most described methods.
Detailed descriptions of best evidence, how to perform patient handling and teaching methods are still lacking.
An essential part of the project is the teaching and training of the caregivers. For that reason, we defined learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge or skills caregivers should have acquired by the end of a particular assignment, class, course, or program, and help caregivers understand why that knowledge and those skills will be useful to them. They focus on the context and potential applications of knowledge and skills, help caregivers learn in various contexts, and help guide assessments and evaluations.
How did we define learning outcomes?
All learning outcomes were defined by the team and reviewed by an educational expert. Learning outcomes can be examined in the Train the trainer manual.
How did we choose the didactics?
A specific didactical approach is used when teaching patient handling. We gathered all the best practices regarding the organization of the patient handling training from our partners.
To obtain an overview of the best evidence, we systematically reviewed the didactics caregivers applied to patient handling.
Much research has been done on the topic of patient handling, but none of that research has focused on the effectiveness of the applied didactics when teaching caregivers about patient handling. Should we use individual or group training, home-based learning, simulations? All didactics can be found in the Train the trainer manual.
Our app is an innovative and technological method to deliver our content. We developed it in close cooperation with our IT partner in Finland and with a 3D animations expert. All scenarios were drawn and reviewed several times with the team. The images and 3D videos used for patient handling education are our own.
Fifteen caregivers evaluated the usability of the first version of the app at a University Hospital. We asked different chiefs of staff to provide feedback on the goal and use of the app. All feedback was included in the app.
Our app is freely available for Android and IOS.
We created a Train the trainer manual and set up a strategy. This manual is based on theory and practice regarding training methods for caregivers, with the intention of creating a long-term learning solution.
The project’s goal is to develop a self-regulated tool for “ergocoaches", prevention advisors, and other people who teach patient handling techniques to caregivers.