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Using Technology to Enhance Mobility of Patients in the ICU

Immobility for patients, especially in the ICU, poses risks to their overall long-term well-being, with an estimated 30% of ICU patients developing depression and 40% of them experiencing cognitive impairment as a result of immobility during a hospital stay.¹

Getting patients moving as soon as possible helps prevent delays in their recovery process. This is precisely what the Mobility STEP Protocol encourages caregivers to do, with five progressive steps designed to promote patient safety while beginning patient mobility.


The Mobility STEP Protocol

The Mobility STEP Protocol works together with the Bedside Mobility Assessment Tool 2.0, providing a framework that caregivers can use to encourage progressive and safe patient mobility.

The Mobility STEP Protocol follows five stages, including:

●      Stabilize

●      Sit

●      Stand

●      Step

●      Strengthen and sustain

This protocol aims for early mobility to begin as soon as the patient is stable.

Turning to Smart Bed Technology for Early Mobility

Baxter helps caregivers combine the stages of the Mobility STEP Protocol with smart bed technology by relying on the Progressa+ ICU bed. This bed has FullChair and sit-to-stand options that help patients start moving sooner.

To help prevent pressure injuries, the Progressa+ ICU bed also features Advanced Microclimate Technology and turn assist, as well as options for percussion and vibration therapy and continuous lateral rotation therapy (CLRT).

CLRT is an important aspect of early mobility for patients in the first stages of the Mobility STEP Protocol, reducing the rate of pneumonia and the time patients spend in the ICU.²

Support for Patient Positioning

Prone positioning is another feature of the Progressa+ ICU bed, helping patients move to the second stage of the Mobility STEP Protocol, while those in the third stage can benefit from the chair egress position the bed offers.

For patients in later stages of the Mobility STEP Protocol, the Progressa+ ICU bed offers side-exit assist for standing. The side-exit assist inflates the surface where the patient sits to assist them in standing on their own.

This is important not only for the patient, but for the care team as well, helping to reduce the chances of them receiving back injuries when moving a patient from a sitting to a standing position.

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