HoverMatt reduces physical and financial strain on healthcare sector


Healthcare facilities nationwide are responding to the need to improve caregiver and patient safety and reduce the costs associated with workplace injuries.

According to Moving and Handling People: The New Zealand Guidelines 2012, healthcare workers have one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders among all occupational groups. With hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities leading all industries for workplace injury and illness (Source: Moving and Handling People: The New Zealand Guidelines 2012).

Repositioning clients in bed and transferring from bed to stretcher are the most physically demanding tasks performed by carers according to The New Zealand Guidelines. They state the use of appropriate equipment greatly reduces musculoskeletal strain and the risk of injury among staff.

Bowen Hospital, a private surgical hospital in Wellington has a proud tradition of patient care, supported by the very latest technology, equipment and facilities. The hospital implemented the use of HoverMatts at the end of 2016, primarily to reduce strain and injuries associated with repositioning patients in theatre. We spoke with Grant Scarf, Team Leader of Anaesthetics at Bowen Hospital to see how the HoverMatt is performing.

Grant says the HoverMatt “is a very simple unit that becomes very easy to use very quickly and where only one good in-service is all that’s required”. Bowen Hospital uses the HoverMatt at the two main times where there is potential for exertion and strain when transferring a patient, which Grant says are 1; when rolling a patient to place a roller-board under them and 2; when needing to push and pull the patient on the roller board back to their bed. “The HoverMatt eliminates both of these” says Grant.

“I was surprised how often we started to use the HoverMatt, which probably means we are moving a lot more heavy patients than we realise. With an obvious increase in the number of obese patients the HoverMatt should now be considered an essential piece of equipment in the Operating Theatres” says Grant.

Grant goes on to say that in theatre, “although a patient is completely unconscious, staff can safely and reliably transfer a patient with no exertion required. We are now getting requests from both Surgeons and Anaesthetists as to the availability of the HoverMatt”.

“After manually moving patients for over 35 years, the strain on my back has taken its toll” says Grant. “I think the next generation of healthcare workers will greatly benefit from this device.”

What is a HoverMatt and how can it help you reduce injuries in your workplace?

The HoverMatt is an air mattress that has tiny air holes on the bottom. When inflated through the use of a pump, the mattress floats on a thin cushion of air that makes it easy to slide a patient from one flat surface to another, or to reposition them in bed or on an operating table.

HoverMatt reduces the pull force required to move a patient by 80-90%, requiring fewer caregivers and reducing the risk of injury to staff. Moving a patient weighing 200kg feels like moving just 20kg when using a HoverMatt.

The inflated HoverMatt conforms to the patient’s body making them feel comfortable, safe and supported. It takes seven seconds to inflate, can be easily deflated and stays under the patient during any procedure from surgery to radiological imaging.

A patient who needs to have a CT scan and an X-ray typically has to be moved six times between bed, gurney and imaging equipment. That is six opportunities for the patient to feel discomfort and six opportunities for an employee to get hurt. The HoverMatt virtually eliminates all that.

The HoverMatt has been fully pressure mapped and can stay underneath a patient for any length of time. There is no need to remove after each use, so once the patient is on a HoverMatt it can stay with them for their entire hospital stay.

Many people think patient handling equipment should only be used for patients of size, but a HoverMatt is appropriate for any patient with restrictions in mobility and makes life so much easier for staff and patients. Patients that are in pain, elderly patients and those at risk of pressure injuries can also greatly benefit from the HoverMatt.

Every healthcare facility wants their staff to go home unhurt – HoverMatt delivers that.

Active Healthcare offers specialised training in proper use of the full range of HoverMatt and HoverTech products. In fact, our HoverTech training team find healthcare staff across the country are consistently amazed when they see the HoverMatt and other HoverTech products in action.

To find out how HoverMatt could work for you, contact our team;

call us 0800 336 339 email sales@activehealthcare.co.nz