Low mobility during hospitalization remains prevalent despite associated negative consequences. The goal of this quality improvement (QI) project was to increase patient mobility and function by adding a physical therapist (PT) to an existing interprofessional care team. A mobility technician assisted treatment group patients with mobility during hospitalization based on physical therapist recommendations. Change in functional status and highest level of mobility achieved by treatment group patients was measured from admission to discharge. Observed hospital length of stay (LOS), LOS index, and 30-day all cause hospital readmission comparisons between treatment group and a comparison group on the same unit, and between cross-sectional comparison groups one year prior were used for Difference in Difference analysis. Bivariate comparisons between the treatment and a cross-sectional comparison group from one year prior showed a statistically significant change in LOS Index. No other bivariate comparisons were statistically significant. Difference in Difference methods showed no statistically significant change in observed LOS, LOS Index, or 30-day readmission. Patients in the treatment group had statistically significant improvements in functional status and highest level of mobility achieved. Physical function and mobility improved for patients who participated in mobility sessions. Mobility technicians may contribute to improved care quality and patient safety in the hospital.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 11, issue 1, article no. 4307.

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