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The importance of increasing hospitalised patients mobility cannot be overstated. Not only does it prevent complications from lying in bed, but it also speeds up rehabilitation.

Reducing physical complications and improving social and emotional well-being are both important goals of patient mobilisation. Patients who can move around and have no barriers to treatment tend to have shorter hospital stays and better overall health outcomes.

For this reason, medical staff must assist them with mobility and remove any potential complications. By doing so, they will receive the best care possible and have a better chance of recovering quickly.

Studies are showing that for some patients, staying in bed or in a chair can actually do more harm than good. Immobilisation – even for a few days – can lead to muscle atrophy, blood clots and bed sores, or even permanent functional decline.

On the other hand, patients who engage in regular physical activity can experience significant improvements in their overall health and well-being. In many cases, this can lead to increased independence and a decrease in the risks associated with bed rest.

How to Assess Patients Mobility

Healthcare providers face many challenges when it comes to mobilising patients safely and consistently. They must be able to assess a patient's mobility status in order to monitor improvements or deterioration. This can be especially hard when patients have mobility deficits.

There are many ways to assess an individual's mobility. Some common tests used to measure mobility include the Timed Get Up and Go Test or the Egress Test. These tests provide objective measures of an individual's ability to move around and perform activities of daily living.

Assessing patients' mobility abilities and impairments can also be done by observing them as they move around in bed, sit down, stand up, or walk. This will help to determine whether or not they need support while performing these activities.

After the mobility is assessed, the patient can be graded and classified according to their level of functional ability:

  • Level 0: The patient is completely independent in terms of mobility
  • Level 1: The patient needs an assistive device
  • Level 2: The patient needs an assistive device and the coaching and supervision of another person
  • Level 3: The patient needs an assistive device and the direct assistance of another person
  • Level 4: The patient is totally dependent on others for their mobility needs

Get Patients Moving with Progress Charts

It is well known that early mobility has many benefits for patients. However, it can be difficult to implement due to various barriers. The most common obstacles to patient mobility are equipment, patient availability, staff availability, and unit planning.

In the face of these challenges, the best way to get patients moving is by engaging and motivating them. This can be done by providing training and tools, such as progress charts, to help them keep track of their progress.

Bi-Office Antimicrobial Whiteboard with a Progress Chart on a wall.

These charts are an easy way for patients, families and staff to keep track of goals, schedules and achievements on a daily basis.

By involving patients and their families in the process, nurses and patient care technicians can help set goals for each day and encourage patients to fill out the chart themselves.

Follow up on your patient's progress with custom-designed Antimicrobial boards. They are always visible and easy to keep records of, making them incredibly useful for both doctors and patients alike.