Closing the research-practice gap in healthcare: the development and usability evaluation of a patient handling incident investigation toolkit

Sharon Newnam, Natassia Goode, Gemma J.M. Read, Paul M. Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It is widely acknowledged that work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are created by a complex network of factors. However, it is questionable if this knowledge has been effectively translated into practice, especially concerning incident investigations. This is partly attributed to the lack of a tailored, systems thinking approach for investigating MSDs. This article describes the development and evaluation of an investigation toolkit, the Patient Handling Injuries Review of Systems (PHIRES) Toolkit. Underpinned by Rasmussen's (1997) Risk Management Framework, the PHIRES Toolkit was developed to help healthcare practitioners adopt a systems thinking approach when investigating injuries sustained to workers following patient handling. This paper presents the key findings from the initial development and usability evaluation of the PHIRES Toolkit conducted with three health services in Victoria. The findings suggest that the Toolkit is effective in helping practitioners apply systemsthinking to understand and address the complex system of factors involved in patient handling injuries. The results from the usability evaluation identified several actions to drive future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104844
Number of pages7
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Handling
  • Healthcare
  • Patient
  • Safety management
  • Systems thinking
  • Usability evaluation
  • Workplace safety

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