Improving Patient Outcomes through Development and Implementation of a Mobility Aide Program

Nature and scope of the project

The NorthShore Mobility Aid program is designed to train a group of unlicensed staff to safely mobilize patients during acute hospital stays. This will help address the negative impact of decreased mobility on patient health outcomes, improve patient satisfaction with their hospital care, and potentially decrease staff stress.

Synthesis and analysis of supporting literature

With Medicare no longer reimbursing hospitals for fall-related injuries, up to 95% of patients spend their time in the bed or chair during their hospital stays. Increased use of bed and chair alarms along with policies dictating staff be within arm’s reach and on standby has led to patients becoming dependent on staff to mobilize. Consequences of decreased mobility include physical deconditioning, functional decline, adverse health effects, increased length of stay and likelihood of readmission. To combat this, programs such as the Hospital Elder Life Program and the VA’s STRIDE program were developed to aid with patient mobilization during acute hospital admissions. Successes included decreases in length of stay and discharge to skilled facilities along with improved staff stress and satisfaction.

Project implementation

Using the IDEAL change model and Kolb’s Learning theory, project implementation is as follows: online learning module, therapy shadowing, safe patient handling session, four RN observations to verify competency.

Evaluation criteria

Data concerning call light response time, number of patient falls, pre- and post-implementation SurveyMonkey for staff stressors will be collected over time to determine impact of the program.


The program is in its infancy and only recently rolled out. In order to assist each pavilion with the rollout, the Mobility Aide Program has been rolled out at only two of four sites. The team predicts a positive impact on call light duration, staff stressors, and patient falls as the program is implemented fully at each site.


Nursing staff differs from hospital to hospital. If a hospital does not utilize staff support techs, the recommendation would be to consider recruiting nursing aides or physical therapy aides. Length of time for in-person training may change per institution based on the patient population and need.



Improving Patient Outcomes through Development and Implementation of a Mobility Aide Program