Moving to Music

Jan 12, 2011, 6:28 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

"We've had classical. We've had rock. We've had country. We've had instrumental. You can see the staff and residents bop their head[s] to different ones," Pam Larimore-Skinner, director of nursing at Signature HealthCare of Trimble County in Bedford, Kentucky, told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

But she’s not talking about a dance party. She’s talking about a unique tool created by RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) grantees. INQRI grantees Tracey Yap, Ph.D., a nurse researcher, and Jay Kim, Ph.D., an engineer, of the University of Cincinnati, are testing a sustainable, system-wide program designed to prevent pressure ulcers and enhance the mobility of long-term care residents.

Every two hours during the day, music is played over a speaker system at nursing homes. The music serves to remind nurses that it’s time to re-position bedridden patients. This subtle reminder prompts busy nurses to stop other tasks and give immobile patients the care they need to prevent bed sores. The music also serves as a reminder to other staff members to invite or encourage patients who are mobile to get up and walk.

The study, which is being conducted at multiple facilities, will conclude in April.

Read more about the project and the INQRI program.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.