Corona Update: SURGE CAPACITY SOLUTIONS – The mobi is a mobile headwall (equipment consolidator) that can be set up in any space that has an electrical outlet: next to a chair, a bed, a cot in a hallway, a cafeteria, or anywhere patients need to be located. Click here for more information.

Early Patient Mobility Key Article

Patient Ambulation & Staff Safety

patient ambulation wheelchair smiling

Patient Ambulation & Staff Safety

Helping Hospitals Reduce Costs With Patient Ambulation

Early mobility (patient ambulation) protocols are first implemented, there is an increased cost in time for both the nursing and support staff. However, when early mobility protocols are implemented systemically, the overall improvement in patient independence, reduction in secondary complications (including delirium), and reduced patient length of stay actually save time and reduce the burden for hospital staff. There are many sustainable benefits to implementing patient ambulation protocols.

Improved patient coordination and the reduction of ICU-acquired weakness also reduces the risk of falls, which are both dangerous and costly events. Ambulation platforms are an important part of this process because they help patients to help themselves, reducing the risk of injury for both patients and hospital staff. More importantly during a pandemic, mobility platforms dramatically increase patient independence, which limits risky interactions between patient and staff. The net improvement in staff efficiency, staff safety, and patient turnover all contribute toward greater hospital efficiency and significant cost savings associated with early and safe patient ambulation.

Key Facts:

  • Early patient mobility (patient ambulation) promotes patient independence and improves nurses’ ability to assess patient strength, ability, and psychological status. (Krupp 2019)
  • Nurses report that early mobilization improves patient independence and preserves patient dignity, which reduces the number of patient requests for assistance and decreases staff workload. (Hoyer 2015)
  • On average, patients who employed mobile IV pole walkers required one fewer staff members to support early patient mobilization. (Nesbitt 2012)
  • When nurses and rehabilitation therapists were able to increase mobility by approximately 1 hour per ICU patient (for patients on ventilators and patients who were not), the average ICU length of stay decreased by almost 20%, floor bed average length of stay lowered by almost 40%, and twice as many patients were discharged without home services. Average cost per day in the ICU and floor bed decreased, resulting in an annualized net cost savings of $1.5 million. (Corcoran 2017)
  • The implementation of a progressive mobility protocol in a cardiothoracic surgery unit reduced patient length of stay (in ICU and overall), reduced ICU readmission rates, and decreased the risk of pressure ulcers. Overall the new protocol had positive implications for both staffing and cost-savings. (Floyd 2016)
  • Programs that reduce the number of patient falls by even a small margin result in significant net savings at hospitals, largely due to the decline in time that RNs must spend in fall-related activities. (Nuckols 2017)
  • One hospital introduced a systematic schedule for their pediatric unit and found that patients experienced: shorter periods of bed rest, reduced pressure sores, fewer falls, decreased length of stay, improved family satisfaction, and improved staff satisfaction. Overall, early mobilization resulted in cost savings for both the patient and hospital. (Letzkus 2013)
  • A study conducted at a community acute care hospital found that patients who received mobility intervention had fewer falls, ventilator-associated events, pressure ulcers, CAUTIs, delirium days. They also had lower sedation levels, improved functional independence, and lower hospital costs.  (Fraser, 2015)


Krupp A, Ehlenbach W, King B. Factors nurses in the intensive care unit consider when making decisions about patient mobility. Am J Crit Care. 2019 Jul;28(4):281-289.

Hoyer EH, Brotman DJ, Chan KS, Needham DM. Barriers to early mobility of hospitalized general medicine patients: survey development and results. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015;94:304-312.

Nesbitt JC, Deppen S, Corcoran R, et al. Postoperative ambulation in thoracic surgery patients: standard versus modern ambulation methods. Nurs Crit Care. 2012;17(3):130-137.

Corcoran J, Herbsman JM, Bushnik T, et al. Early rehabilitation in the medical and surgical intensive care units for patients with and without mechanical ventilation: an interprofessional performance improvement project. PM R. 2017 Feb;9(2):113-119.

Floyd S, Craig SW, Topley D, Tullmann D. Evaluation of a progressive mobility protocol in postoperative cardiothoracic surgical patients. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2016 Sept-Oct;35(5):277-282.

Nuckols TK, Needleman J, Grogan TR, et al. Clinical effectiveness and cost of a hospital-based fall prevention intervention: the importance of time nurses spend on the front line of implementation. J Nurs Adm. 2017 Nov;47(11):591-580.

Letzkus I, Hengartner M, Yeago D, Crist P. The immobile pediatric population: can progressive mobility hasten recovery? J Pediatr Nurs. 2013;28(3):296-299.

Fraser D, Spiva LA, Forman W, Hallen C. Original research: implementation of an early mobility program in an ICU Am J Nurs. 2015;115(3):49-58.


Learn more about Livengood Medical Mobi Solutions and Livengood PPE Products.

What Customers Say


“6 months ago we implemented 12 mobis into our early mobility program. We have a very diverse population on our ICU and having the option of mobilizing them in a way that is helpful and assistive to staff while instilling confidence in the patient and family is great. We’re still working to figure out our ideal workflow but it’s given us concrete examples of how even our sicker vented patients can get mobilized safely and efficiently.”

Mark Rohlfing
RN, BSN Clinical Operations Manager Intensive Care Unit
Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital - Muncie, IN

“After completing a research study with the LIVENGOOD mobi on our post trauma/surgical floor, I realized its potential to decrease length of stay, help with staff efficiency and empower patients to be independent.”

Lorrie Henecke
MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNRN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland, CO

“We are so excited that the mobi helped us ambulate our very first vented patient.”

Esther Vandermeulen
University Health System - San Antonio, TX

“The LIVENGOOD mobi is very user friendly, safe and a great solution to use minimal staff and be able to contain all of the patient’s equipment.”

Michael Saccone
Saint Joseph's Hospital - Syracuse, NY

“I think the LIVENGOOD mobi will revolutionize the way we mobilize patients in the ICU. I saw patients mobilize sooner and with less anxiety with the mobi. One young patient was even able to walk outside with the mobi and her portable vent. Having the mobi made mobility a real team effort, not just a P.T. activity.”

Terra Terwilliger
PT, DPT - Adult Inpatient Physical Therapist
Rehab Services University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Health System

“The LIVENGOOD platform allows my patients to be active and independent without attention being diverted to multiple lines, an oxygen tank, and other medically necessary devices. It allows patients to have hope and a sense of “normalcy”, which so often is lost after trauma or surgery.”

Jessica Gilbert
Staff Physical Therapist - Medical Center of The Rockies -Loveland, CO

“Six years ago I was introduced to the LIVENGOOD mobi. This piece of equipment has been life changing for my patients. I am now able to consolidate all of the patient’s medical devices onto an easy to push mobile platform, therefore freeing up both of my hands to safely assist my patient.”

Tanya Kensley
Poudre Valley Hospital -Fort Collins, CO

“Mobility is Life, the mobi platform will help patients move again.”

Blas Villa
University Health System - San Antonio, TX

“I was at NTI in Boston (2013) and, during the exhibit portion, I wandered across the LIVENGOOD booth. At that moment, I knew our hospital needed this mobi for our open heart recovery program. I worked with a Clinical Nurse Specialist to write a grant for this product. I am so excited to bring the mobi to our program.”

Celina Adams
John C. Lincoln - Phoenix, AZ

“We walked a vented patient with the mobi and it was awesome! This helped her physically and emotionally.”

Natalie Hariel
Tulane Medical Center - New Orleans, LA

“I am a nurse in a cardiovascular ICU… Our goal for patients is to ambulate to the chair 2 hours after extubation, often the evening of surgery day. Our patients are up and walking with central venous catheters, swan ganz catheters, chest tubes, foley catheters, and with IV medications infusing. The ambulation of these patients would not be possible without the mobi walker. Every bit of equipment that these patients need can be carried on the walker while providing the stability of a standard walker… It is an essential piece of equipment for us and we couldn’t provide the care and therapies we do without it.”

Katherine Whitfield
Athens Regional Medical Center - Athens, GA

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