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  1. Douglas, Brenda PhD, RN
  2. Fitzpatrick, Diane PT, DPT, MS, GCS
  3. Golub-Victor, Ann PT, DPT, MPH
  4. Lowe, Susan M. PT, DPT, MS, GCS


The use of algorithms for safe patient handling in the acute care setting has been established and integrated into standards of practice. This is not the case in the home care setting where the patient and caregivers are at risk for injury during patient transfers. Many factors need to be assessed before recommending a mechanical lift for home use. Some of the factors include the patient's weight-bearing status, cognitive level, upper extremity strength, and the caregiver's ability to lift more than 35 pounds. All of these factors have been included in the clinical decision-making algorithm described in this article. Two case scenarios are presented to assist the reader with the analysis and application of the algorithm.