Health professionals have long attempted to resolve a challenge in caring for patients when it comes to boosting them safely when they slide down in their hospital beds.
Augusta Health has adopted technology that operates like a conveyor and effortlessly boosts the patient back up in bed, often without their even knowing it.
The technology is called the Hercules Patient Repositioner, and includes a unique drive, mattress and sheet combination that allows a single caregiver to safely boost a patient back up in bed to a comfortable position with the push of a button.
“Boosting using Hercules is very comfortable and allows one caregiver to safely boost by pushing a button,” Vickie Taylor, RN, Augusta Health Assistant Vice President of Nursing, said. “The Hercules positioner improves patient experience and comfort while saving valuable nursing time.”
The purchase of the technology is made possible with gifts to Augusta Health Foundation. Augusta Health’s Shenandoah House received four Hercules Repositioners in 2022, and additional donor funds made it possible for Augusta Health to install 42 more Hercules Repositioners: 30 in the Medical Unit, six for Skilled Nursing and six for the Intensive Care Unit. This is phase one of a three-phase project to install repositioners in all inpatient units in the hospital, to benefit patients and team members.
“Seeing, firsthand, the difference this technology makes in the patient and team member experience is powerful. Knowing the generosity of our donors made it possible is truly inspiring,” Shirley Davis Carter, CFRE, Augusta Health Foundation Executive Director and Vice President of Philanthropy, said. “A patient may need to be repositioned in bed as many as 10+ times daily. Conventional repositioning methods, such as slide sheets and lifts, are disruptive. Patients don’t have to worry about that unpleasant experience when caregivers use Hercules.”
The leading cause of injury for bedside caregivers is patient-boosting methods. The physically demanding, time-consuming task contributes to job dissatisfaction and burnout and is a significant reason nurses leave bedside care.
“Hercules has had a big impact on our Augusta Health Shenandoah House team members,” Joey Mooneyham, RN, Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah, Clinical Coordinator, said. “Staff feel safer using the unit because there is less strain on them physically.”