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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter September 18, 2019

Usability assessment of patient hoists as a purchasing guide for health facilities

  • Lorenz Müller EMAIL logo , Saskia Sobkowicz , Elisabeth Ibenthal and Claus Backhaus


Nurses suffer from musculoskeletal strains because of frequent patient mobilizations. Therefore, mobile patient hoists were developed. However, patient hoists are rarely used. A possible reason is a low user acceptance due to poor usability of available products. To increase the user acceptance in health facilities and thus the frequency of use, a comparative usability assessment was conducted. The goal is to support health facilities in future purchasing decisions. 12 hoists were tested by 40 nurses in three everyday scenarios. Every nurse tested three hoists in randomized order. In total, each hoist was tested ten times. The success rate was used to measure the effectiveness. To identify poorly designed components, success rates were clustered into categories, which describe different hoist parts. User acceptance was quantified in the range of 0 to 100 using a standardized questionnaire. The success rate over all hoists was high and ranges from 88 % to 95 % (M = 92 %, SD = 2 %). However, serious use errors occurred in 24 % of the scenarios. The slingbars of the hoists showed the lowest effectiveness (M = 82 %, SD = 6 %). The user acceptance of the hoists ranges from 49 to 86 (M = 68, SD = 10). Besides structural problems like limited space or product availability, design deficits are a possible reason, why hoists are not used. All in all, the study identifies ergonomically better-designed hoists. Based on the results, health facilities can take usability aspects into account when making purchasing decisions.

Published Online: 2019-09-18
Published in Print: 2019-09-01

© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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