NYC Health + Hospitals’ “Early Steps” Inpatient Mobility Program Reduces Length of Hospital Stays in Med/Surge Patients
Pilot program has helped reduce hospitals stays by an average of approximately two days
by getting recovering patients to safely walk around during their recovery
Funding for this pilot was provided the New York Community Trust
Mar 08, 2021
NYC Health + Hospitals today announced initial outcomes from its “Early STEPS” inpatient mobility program, which has shown effectiveness in reducing hospital stays in patients. Launched in October 2020 in adult medical/surgical units at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, the pilot program has helped reduce hospitals stays by an average of approximately two days by assisting patients to safely walk around during their recovery. The early mobility program identifies patients that have debility and are able to benefit from an assisted walk with the support and supervision of a mobility technician. These patients are typically assisted two times a day, logging at least 400 steps daily on a pedometer. The $200,000 pilot was funded by New York Community Trust.
“The benefits of early mobility for patients recovering in a hospital are clear, and we’re proud to be on our way to establishing a formal and standardized program across our system to ensure the safety of our patients and help them recover faster and stronger than ever,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Eric Wei, MD, MBA.
“We are fortunate that New York Community Trust recognizes our public health system’s mission of providing high-quality service to all patients,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Value Officer Hyung (Harry) Cho, MD. “This grant award provides the foundation that will allow us to make sure every patient discharged leave as strong as possible and as soon as it’s safe.”
Results of NYC Health + Hospitals’ early mobility program were evaluated from the program’s first 100 participants between October and December 2020. No falls or injuries were reported while ambulating patients.
The benefit of early mobility in critically-ill patients goes beyond reducing the length of stay in the hospital. Patients who delay moving around during their recovery from strokes, joint replacements, or advanced infections – all common ailments seen in medical/surgical units – have a likelier chance of experiencing acute brain dysfunction, pressure ulcers, and catheter associated urinary tract infections, to list a few. Early mobility gets patients out of bed as soon as possible, decreasing these risks, while also helping patients maintain or improve their physical condition with minimal risk.
“NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and North Central Bronx is proud to have been selected as a pilot site for this program, which aligns with our goal of delivering high quality care to our patients,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi Chief Quality Officer Komal Bajaj, MD. “The success of the program is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our interdisciplinary teams. More importantly, the early mobility program provides great benefit to our patients by accelerating their recovery and allowing them to safely resume their normal functions.”
The New York Community Trust mobility grant helped to hire two mobility technicians to help support patients’ safety. NYC Health + Hospitals is evaluating the expansion of the program to other units and its hospitals system-wide.