Top 4 Drawbacks Of Powered Bed Movers, With Solutions
What is a powered bed mover?
Powered bed and stretcher movers are a safer alternative to Porters manually pushing beds and stretchers around a hospital.
Powered bed movers attach to hospital beds and stretchers and are designed to reduce Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSIs) and improve efficiency by taking the weight and load off the person pushing the equipment.
The purpose of this article is to discuss 4 of the common drawbacks we hear when talking to professionals in hospitals about bed movers and to suggest some solutions to these problems.
Some of the drawbacks of traditional bed movers:
- They’re bulky
- They’re difficult to steer
- Bed compatibility is poor
- They’re challenging to attach to beds and stretchers
Traditional bed movers are undeniably bulky, often adding a lot of length or width to the bed or stretcher that is being moved. The problem this creates is the bed immediately becomes more difficult to move around narrow corridors and will likely not fit in hospital lifts.
This could also result in storage problems, especially if your hospital has limited storage capacity.
The solution – There are some newer compact bed mover options on the market, such as the Felgains GZ10SL or PTS P4 Multi Bed Mover, which add minimal additional length and no additional width to the equipment being pushed, and can fit into the majority of hospital lifts. The PTS P4 Multi Bed Mover also folds for compact storage.
Difficult to steer
Bed movers are also traditionally known to be unintuitive and difficult to steer and manoeuvre. This is largely due to most bed movers forcing the steering to occur at either the head end or foot end of the bed or stretcher, rather than in the middle, creating a shopping trolley-like effect. Other bed movers are powered via a joystick, which can take some time to get used to and may result in training and implementation challenges.
Ultimately, this can result in Porters and staff being put off using the bed movers altogether, and resorting to manually pushing as before.
The solution – Bed movers such as the GZ10SL are powered and steered via a wheel which is situated underneath the bed or stretcher, creating a 5th wheel effect and making the steering much more intuitive.
Poor bed compatibility
Several bed movers rely on attaching to a certain part of a bed or stretcher, which might be different depending on the manufacturer. Considering that most trusts have a variety of beds and stretchers to suit different needs, often from multiple different manufacturers, these types of bed movers are unlikely to fit all of your beds and stretchers.
This often results in hospitals having to own multiple bed movers to suit all of their bed types – resulting in higher equipment costs, less storage space, and more difficulty for Portering teams to find the correct bed mover for each bed.
The solution – Investing in bed movers that attach to the frame of a hospital bed or stretcher is a good idea because the design and construction of the frame are virtually the same across all manufacturers. Some examples of bed movers that attach to the frame include the GZS and GZ10SL.
Bed movers that attach to castor wheels are also a good option compatibility-wise, as they typically attach to the majority of castor wheel sizes. An example of a bed mover that attaches to castor wheels is the Staminalift TS5000.
Difficult to attach to beds and stretchers
Bed movers can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming to attach to beds and stretchers, resulting in porters preferring to manually move equipment rather than spending time trying to get a bed mover attached. Bed movers that use claw systems to attach to castor wheels or castor wheel downtubes are typically more time-consuming to attach and may require further modification depending on the equipment being moved.
The solution – The GZS and GZ10SL Bed Movers attach to the main frame of a bed or stretcher using a toolless ratchet system, which allows porters to attach the bed movers to beds and stretchers more quickly compared to bed movers that fit onto caster wheels or under the main structure.
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