This year, the Patient Transfer Scale has revolutionised the way immobile patients are weighed. In the UK, mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond, this transfer board with in-built weighing scale, invented by a nurse working for NHS Scotland, has been a hit.
Its inventor, Gillian Taylor, has spent the past year touring the UK and abroad introducing and demonstrating the PTS to nurses - follow her journeys on Twitter here.
The PTS has proved to be invaluable for weighing patients in ED, Critical Care, Stroke Units and more - and, recently, has found its way into hospices, too.
Kilbryde Hospice, near Glasgow, Scotland is one such hospice where the PTS has had a massive impact - benefitting the hospice, its patients and its staff. Deputy Clinical Lead Nurse Ann-Majella McFadden explains…
No stress for the patient
“One of the real differences with using the Patient Transfer Scale to weigh immobile patients is that weighing can be carried out so discreetly,” says Ann-Majella. “There’s no need for awkward and sometimes difficult transfers which can at times take place when using a chair scale to weigh a patient.”
One of the core aims - and reasons for the PTS in the first place - was to remove the stress of weighing an immobile patient. This can often take place using a hoist scale, which many find cumbersome and time consuming, or by using a chair scale.
Part of an existing process
Instead, the scale can be used to weigh patients as part of the admission process, in particular when they are being transferred from a trolley to a bed.
Ann-Majella says: “We have incorporated the Patient Transfer Scale into our admission process, so when receiving patients to the In Patient Unit we record the weight right at the beginning. This allows for accuracy in the Risk Assessment Tools used here at Kilbryde Hospice.”
Improved weighing accuracy and prescription
With weight readings being taken right at the beginning of the patient’s journey, there is an instant, recorded weight - meaning drug dosages and treatment can be accurately prescribed, quickly. This is vital in more critical scenarios, but for any department this is invaluable.
“For many of our patients the weighing process would just not be possible,” says Ann-Majella. “Therefore the Patient Transfer Scale undoubtedly allows for a process to take place which leads to the safe prescribing of drugs, the efficacy of therapies and ultimately the comfort of our patient group.”
Making a difference
With easier weighing of patients, reduced stress and more accurate results, ultimately there are better patient outcomes. We’ve seen this in departments in hospitals around the world, but Kilbryde Hospice has demonstrated that a real difference can be made when the PTS is used for palliative care, too.
Ann-Majella concludes: “The Patient Transfer Scale has been a fantastic piece of equipment which has actually made a real difference to the care and management of our patient group here at Kilbryde Hospice.”
To find out more about Kilbryde Hospice click here.