In hospitals and clinics where there are immobile patients or patients who are bed-ridden, the task of moving and shifting them comes down to the responsibility of healthcare workers.
Of course, such tasks forms part of their job description, but certain bedding technologies may help relieve nurses with such duties. Neil Ronaldson, Director of Smart Tech, a provider of healthcare technologies said there are beds that specifically cater to patients who are confined to bed.
"Products like the SmartCare Programmable Turning System assist carers and improve patient care by reducing the physical demands of nursing highly dependant people," Ronaldson said.
"This offers both patient and carer uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. It also removes the need for nurses to remember to turn patients - giving them more time to perform important nursing duties."
The SmartCare Programmable Turning System is also a featured invention in the popular ABC show, The New Inventors. Since its creation, it has been seen as a cost-effective solution to a common patient issue by many hospitals, Aged Care facilities and private homes.
Much like an adult cradle, such beds can be programmed to gently turn the patient from side to side by tiny increments without waking them up.
Ronaldson says that with the use of a simple handset, such beds are a solid investment.
"With just one handset, you can turn the bed from side to side from five to fifteen degrees on a programmable cycle. This feature helps prevent pressure ulcers which can occur when constant weight is placed onto certain body areas," he said.
Pressure ulcers are in fact a major issue when it comes to bed-ridden patients. Treatment costs for them can rise up to $75,000.
On the topic of costs, Ronaldson said such technologies reduce the risk of back strains and injuries for nurses and carers. This means less Workcare claims for hospitals.
It also means staff have more time available for other important nursing duties.
"The SmartCare Programmable Turning System was first featured in 'The New Inventors' in 2006. It was the invention of a nurse who was concerned about nurses' back injuries and better patient outcomes. Seven years after her time at the hospital, the invention came to life," Ronaldson said.
"Since its first television appearance, the Programmable Turning Bed now named the SmartCare Programmable Pressure Care System, has evolved a lot with new features and smarter technology. But at the core, it is still a great product that helps patients as much as it helps caretakers.
In addition to the programmable turning feature, such products also have the usual features of a hospital bed. The head and back resters can be raised, lowered or titled and there are also side safety barriers, as well as removable head and foot boards.