Ergonomic Intervention for Healthcare Workers and Patients: A Development of Patient Handling Device

  • Rex Aurelius C. Robielos
  • Karla Coleen A. Sambua
  • Joanna G. Fernandez
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 820)


Over the years, healthcare workers have suffered debilitating musculoskeletal disorders when lifting, transferring and repositioning patients manually. Hence this study focuses on risk-related issues experienced by healthcare workers as well as their patients due to manual patient handling. Issues regarding patient handling activities were analyzed by conducting a survey on healthcare workers and patients that includes ergonomic assessment tools like Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA), NIOSH Lifting Equation, and Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) etc. After which, one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s HSD Test were conducted to determine a significant difference between the risk factors on patient handling activities. As a result, healthcare workers tend to experience discomfort mostly on their upper limbs due to equipment’s dimensions and capacity to lift. To address the problem, this study suggested an intervention for the most critical patient handling activity by proposing a patient handling device. The design of the device was based on healthcare workers and patients’ needs and requirements which were translated using Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Detail Design. For validation of the product, Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA) and survey regarding user’s perspective of the product were conducted. To test the effectiveness of the proposed design, RULA and NIOSH Lifting Equation were also utilized and the results were compared to the ones obtained before the intervention. Through this, it was confirmed that the proposed design captures critical patient handling activities and offers more functions and features than the available lifting equipment with a lower cost.


Patient handling device Musculoskeletal disorder Healthcare workers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rex Aurelius C. Robielos
    • 1
  • Karla Coleen A. Sambua
    • 1
  • Joanna G. Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Industrial Engineering and Service Engineering ManagementMapúa UniversityManilaPhilippines

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