Grants to Boost Minnesotas Patient Handling Care

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) awarded 67 state health care facilities each with about $7,700 in patient-handling grants to purchase equipment that will help employees safely move or lift physically challenged patients.

In addition to the total $500,000 in grants awarded by DLI, employers will contribute approximately $351,938 in matching funds. This funding will help hospitals, outpatient surgical centers and nursing homes comply with the new state patient-handling regulations that take effect July 1.

The measure, the Safe Patient Handling Act, requires licensed health care facilities in Minnesota to adopt a written safe-patient-handling policy by Jan. 1, 2011. The policy must establish a plan to minimize manual lifting through the use of patient-handling equipment.

According to DLI’s list of grant recipients, facilities will use the grant money to buy ceiling lift systems, powered stand up lifts, slide/repositioning sheets and systems, transfer boards, slings and track systems.

“Without a doubt, Minnesota's care providers take good care of our loved ones who are in great physical need," said Steve Sviggum, DLI commissioner. "This grant is intended to help care providers with the needed training and specialized lift equipment to help keep them safe."

For more information about the safe-patient-handling legislation or to view a list of all health care facilities that were named grant recipients, visit www.doli.state.mn.us/wsc.html.

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