Lifting wheelchairs, removing sheets from beds, helping patients into a seat: These are all things nursing home aides do on a regular basis. These activities are also what make it dangerous to work at a nursing home. Did you know that more workplace injuries happen at nursing homes than at any other private industry in Ohio? The workers compensation costs for nursing homes are staggering, but a video game console might be the key to help reduce worker injuries in those nursing homes.
How Can Xbox Reduce Worker Injuries in Nursing Homes?
Nursing homes have four times the amount of work-related injuries compared to other jobs in Ohio. That’s because the movements, lifting and stretching can be demanding on the bodies of nursing aides. However, an effort from Cleveland State University may allow workers to reduce their chances of injury while performing these physical tasks.
Associate Professor Debbie Espy is training nursing home aides how to move while performing physically demanding tasks. Just like athletes training for Olympic sport, Espy and company show these employees how they are moving improperly when they lift a heavy load or bend over. Amazingly, one of their best tools for this training just happens to be an Xbox.
The Kinect camera that attaches to the game console can track a person’s movement and analyze them. It can be used to show workers how they are moving incorrectly and how they can fix their movements. The researchers are also using this technology in patient’s rooms, where sensors allow the Xbox to beep whenever the Kinect sees a nursing aide moving improperly.
Are There Other Uses for This Technology?
Efforts like this could actually save the state millions of dollars in workers compensation benefits as fewer nursing home workers get injured. This technology has also been used to help teach seniors how to move better and avoid falls, an extra bonus in regard to healthcare costs.
Where else could programs like this help reduce worker injuries? We’re not sure, but the workers compensation attorneys
here at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC are interested in finding out. Keep reading our blogs to find out more about future injury prevention training breakthroughs.