Engineering Prone Patient Positioning for Spine Surgery to Reduce Risk of Clinician Injury

Bethany R. Lowndes, Sarah Kraft, Gladys B. Asiedu, Sandra Woolley, Lynn Loynes, Paul H. Huddleston, M. Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Operating room throughput variability with spinal procedures revealed task inefficiency and potential safety concerns. Using the DMAIC framework (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), a transdisciplinary team conducted a quality improvement (QI) research project to identify and address safety concerns with prone patient positioning. The main problem with patient positioning was undefined standard practice. Clinicians reported prone patient positioning for spinal surgery patients is physically demanding. Thus, the team conducted a rapid upper limb assessment for injury risk during patient positioning and identified a greater risk of clinician injury in the manual transfer process. The QI research team recommended the mechanical process of rotating patients with the Jackson Table to improve workload for the Surgical Team and developed training and design enhancements to support this workflow. The DMAIC quality framework enabled clinician collaboration with researchers to develop interventions to support a standardized process during prone patient positioning with the Jackson Table.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-519
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Event65th Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, HFES 2021 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2021Oct 8 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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