Moving Forward: 
Enhancing the Human Experience

by Rebecca Metcalf

Inspire Outcomes LLC of Bay City, Michigan, was formed with a vision of reaching therapists around America and the world, to inspire them to achieve the best outcomes possible for their patients, especially those whose size and level of dependency provide a challenge, while keeping themselves safe in the process.

The company’s goal is to continue the process of learning in order for healthcare professions to change and adapt. Evidence and insights are combined with patient care and extensive clinical experience to facilitate the best practice. Registered nurse and CAPA physician assistant Molly Gallagher praised the instructional sessions of Inspire Outcomes that “show us how to use good body mechanics. It’s not just our backs that get hurt; it is our knees, almost everything.” Inspire Outcomes provides caregivers such as nurses, occupational therapists and physical therapists with clinical solutions that make sense, and are consistent with rehabilitation goals.

Consistent with the vision of the American Physical Therapists Association, Inspire Outcomes aims to transform society by means of enhancing movement, and in turn, advancing the human experience.

Margaret Arnold, the company’s owner, spoke to Innovative Health Magazine. She is an experienced physical therapist who specializes in patient progressive mobility and ergonomics. Among her credits is a TED Talk titled “Because People Matter” (TED – Technology, Education and Design – is a vaunted series of short presentations on a variety of topics delivered by experts worldwide to a variety of audiences). She explained to an audience at Saginaw Valley State University that immobility leads to poor patient outcomes. As Mrs. Gallagher explained, “benefits of patient mobility is the decrease of blood clots and incidence of pneumonia following surgery.”

Ms. Arnold also cited a decrease in mental ability and cognitive function resulting from patient immobility. From astronauts and athletes in peak condition to patients in critical care and nursing homes, a lack of movement often leads to delirium and confused thinking. Not being able to get out of bed leads to a feeling of dependence for many patients. In other words, allowing patients the chance to move about leads to better physical health, and improves one’s sense of independence—leading to returning as productive members of their communities.

During her TED Talk, Arnold addressed the challenging complexity of moving patients. “Immobility is harmful to every system in our bodies... and on an average day a nurse or therapist, a caregiver, can lift up to two tons… that’s a midsize vehicle with four adult people in it.”

The Universal Mobility Coach System, designed by Inspire Outcomes, is a sling intended to progress body mechanics of patients and caregivers. It is a sort of belt that wraps around the pelvis, equipped with carabiners and adjustable straps that fasten at various points. Inspire Outcome’s website offers tutorials on different movements, for example, kneeling, rolling, side-lying to sitting, and sitting to standing. The Universal Mobility Coach System allows caregivers to achieve better handling and leverage. The sling can be joined with powered and nonpowered assistive devices.

 The American Nurses Association (ANA) has stated, “Emerging efforts to prevent musculoskeletal injuries have concentrated on reducing exposures through the use of assistive equipment and devices for patient handling. Last year, nine states (CA, FL, HI, IL IA, MA, MI, NJ, WV) introduced Safe Patient Handling (SPH) legislation, while five states enacted legislation (OH, TX, NY, WA, RI). ANA has strong evidence that current working conditions in health care are contributing to increased injury and disease among nurses as well as driving the exodus from bedside nursing care.

In a 2014 issue of American Nurse Today, Melissa A. Fitzpatrick issued a call to action insisting on safer patient handling and mobility: “Today’s nursing workforce is aging. The average age of the American registered nurse is 44.6.” The ANA Safe Patient Handling Fact Sheet cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “In 2007, nursing aides, orderlies and attendants were ranked first for highest incidence rates of MSDs that required days away from work. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics were ranked second.” As we age, our hearing, vision and reasoning abilities tend to weaken. Elderly people often have a comorbidity of ailments or health risks. Hospital visits are shorter, and people are, on average, heavier than their ancestors. Promoting helpful innovations, and pursuing sensible regulations, can improve the human experience. Caregivers, patients, coworkers, family and community members might benefit in unforeseen and innumerable ways.

For these reasons, it is vital that healthcare providers at all levels collaborate as lifelong learners sharing a common goal of improving medical mobility. The general public can contact elected leaders and talk to their loved ones about the important issue of mobility and the need for innovations and regulations to assist care providers and patients.

Margaret Arnold concluded, “There are many resources and solutions available to improve mobility at all levels, from being in the hospital in intensive care units and hospital wards, through all the care environments including in-patient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities and at home. We encourage the general public, if they have impaired mobility and require help to move and do things on a daily basis, to ask their healthcare providers about other options.

“If they are in the hospital and are either not being mobilized or are being lifted manually by nurses or therapists... ask them why they don't use lifts and harnesses to help.

“Patients are also encouraged to become informed about how to optimize their mobility. They should know that there are solutions for all care settings. For healthcare providers, know that the evidence tells us we are under-mobilizing patients across all care settings. Know that there is a positive return on investment for improving mobility, as all areas of health are positively impacted; and costs have been proven to be reduced through improving staff and patient safety.”

Inspire Outcomes LLC
Bay City, MI 48706