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Adventist Health Sonora presented with Center of Excellence award


Adventist Health Sonora was presented with the 2018 Diligent Consulting Center of Excellence award for achieving top tier performance in providing safe patient mobility while maintaining the safety of caregivers. Adventist Health Sonora was chosen as one out of 120 facilities across the country to serve as a model for other hospitals and health care systems.

Throughout a three-year clinical program, Adventist Health Sonora significantly reduced patient handling-related injuries and costs and strengthened a culture of safety. The program has helped Adventist Health Sonora reduce injuries to caregivers by up to 97 percent, transferring nearly $1 million from its Workers’ Compensation Trust back in to the operating budget.

In November 2014, Adventist Health Sonora launched their Safe Transfer, Activity and Repositioning (S.T.A.R.) program and invested in Arjo’s DiligentÒ lifting and transferring systems to increase safe mobilization for patients and residents while preventing workplace injuries for nurses and other staff.

According to Arjo, “The goal was to decrease staff injuries, facilitate early mobility, and improve patient outcomes. With the proper tools, training and sustainment strategies, the staff would be able to safely transfer and assist patients without manual lifting. Thanks to a comprehensive, integrated solution, the partnership reduced injuries and costs, and strengthened a culture of safety.”

Kathy Murray, Director of Risk Management and Employee Health at Adventist Health Sonora, began the process of implementing the S.T.A.R. program in 2012. “I knew this would be something special but never dreamed it would have reached this level of success,” she explains. Much of the program’s success can be attributed to S.T.A.R. coaches, Adventist Health Sonora employees who received extra training to be able to provide support to their colleagues when needed.

Danielle Paszek, Lead Radiologic Technologist who serves as a S.T.A.R. coach in the diagnostic imaging department, has been impressed with Arjo’s Maxi AirÒ which she uses to help move patients onto the X-ray table – patients who are often in pain from fractures or other injuries. With the Maxi Air, it is possible to provide a pain-free transfer for the patient, essentially floating them from a gurney to the X-ray table. “It’s also easy on your back and it doesn’t take as many people to move a patient,” she explains.

Kelly Johnson, Employee Health Nurse at Adventist Health Sonora, oversees the S.T.A.R. program and says that staff members are always surprised by how easy the equipment is to use. Representing Adventist Health Sonora as the Diligent Consulting Center of Excellence, Johnson will be helping to coordinate site visits for staff from other hospitals and showcasing the procedures that have safeguarded patients and prevented more than 20 workplace injuries each year since the S.T.A.R. program was initiated. Johnson is quick to attribute the program’s success to all of the staff members who have committed to a culture change and always using the right mobility equipment to keep their patients and themselves safe.

Karen McNamara, who serves as a clinical consultant for Arjo and helped launch the program at Adventist Health Sonora, said, “You don’t see this kind of success without the executive support and teamwork that you have here.”

In 2000, Arjo founded Diligent Consulting to help healthcare facilities address the challenges they face with safely mobilizing patients and residents. Over the last 18 years, Diligent Consulting has worked with more than 800 facilities to develop and sustain these programs, which are powered by a consultancy team and a 60 percent guaranteed reduction in patient handling injuries. Diligent’s programs have achieved improved outcomes for both patients and caregivers, and have resulted in an average 85 percent reduction in patient handling-related injuries. For more information, please visit