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Safe Work Procedure

Name of Task: HoverMatt® and HoverJack™

Performed by

Position/Job: RN, LPN, HCA, OT, PT

Department/Unit: Nursing Units, areas providing patient/resident/client care


Risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSI) from awkward postures and overexertion. Follow procedure to reduce risks. Signs and symptoms of a MSI include pain, burning, numbness, tingling, swelling, loss of movement or strength in a body part.


A friction-reducing mattress that once inflated with air is used to transfer and reposition patients/residents. The underside of the mattress has pinholes that allow air to escape to reduce friction while moving the mattress. The HoverMatt® can be used in combination with the HoverJack™. The HoverMatt® reduces the force staff may need to exert to transfer a patient/resident between two surfaces or move along the floor to the HoverJack™.

An airlift that is designed to lift a patient/resident who has fallen from the floor up to bed height. The HoverJack™ has four chambers that when inflated with air, raise the height of the lift. The HoverJack™ is used in combination with the HoverMatt®.

Education and training prerequisites: e.g. instructions or other SWPs

Safe Patient Handling and Movement Program Operational Procedure and related SWPs


  1. To provide staff with a safe alternative method to lift a fallen patient/resident from the floor to bed/stretcher.

  2. To reduce the manual force for lateral transfers from one surface to another (i.e. bed to stretcher).

  3. To reduce the potential for injuries to patients/residents and staff.


  1. The fallen patient/resident shall not be moved until a nurse has assessed the patient/resident for injuries.

  2. If the fallen patient/resident is unable to stand without assist or the extent of injuries is unknown (i.e. hip fracture), the HoverMatt® and HoverJack™ combination will be used as the transfer method from floor to bed/stretcher.

  3. The HoverMatt® will be used when the fallen patient/resident needs to be moved along the floor onto the HoverJack™ or when the patient/resident needs to be transferred between two horizontal surfaces (i.e. HoverJack™ to bed or bed to stretcher).

  4. The HoverJack™ is then used to raise the patient/resident up to the level of the receiving surface, i.e. bed or stretcher. The HoverJack™ is always used in combination with the HoverMatt®.

NOTE: The HoverJack™ is only used to raise the patient/resident and is not to be

used to lower the patient/resident to the floor.

  1. A minimum of a three-person team is required to use the HoverMatt® and HoverJack™.

  2. There is no weight limit for the HoverMatt® or HoverJack™.

  3. Documentation in patient/resident/client’s health record(s) shall be completed according to program or unit protocol. All atypical observations and/or patient/resident/client responses must be documented.

Steps to be taken to complete task safely:

(clear description in order of steps to follow to safely perform the task. If required add attach an additional form to list all steps)

Include do’s and don’ts


HoverMatt® (Moving patient/resident along floor to HoverJack or transferring patient/resident laterally from one surface to another i.e. bed to stretcher).


Staff agree upon the planned actions required by assessing the present position of the patient/resident and intended end position of the patient/resident.


Communicate the planned movements to the patient/resident and other staff in a clear, non-rushed, respectful manner.


Remove the HoverMatt® from the cart and lay the mattress flat on the floor beside the patient/resident (purple side up, blue side down). The labels on the purple side of the mattress provide instructions to foot placement. Position the foot placement labels next to the patient’s/resident’s feet.


Release the buckles on the mattress and lay straps open.


Ensure that the underside of the HoverMatt® (blue side) does not come into any contact with blood, bodily fluids or soiling. Clean any visible soiling from the floors that may be in the intended pathway before moving the HoverMatt®.


Place the HoverMatt® underneath the patient/resident, apply the same log-roll technique used for placement of a slider/sling. The only difference is that two staff members assist with the “log roll” and the third staff member places the mattress underneath the patient/resident.


If the patient/resident has any drainage (blood/bodily fluids), or has suspect hygiene that may unnecessarily soil the equipment, use a white disposable sheet (found in cart) to place between the patient/resident and the HoverMatt®


Ensure that the HoverMatt® is centered underneath the patient/resident, with their head and feet securely on the mattress and in the proper position.


Fasten the buckles and straps across the patient/resident to securely maintain their position on the HoverMatt® but not too tightly to constrict the patient/resident.


Connect the air supply to the HoverMatt® and inflate the mattress:

  • Advise the patient/resident that a certain amount of the noise will be generated during this process

  • Position the cart with the air supply near the foot end of the HoverMatt® and plug the cord into an electrical outlet in the wall

  • Located at the foot end of the HoverMatt® are two valves with a Velcro cover

  • Connect the hose to one of the valves

  • Fasten the metal snap in the valve to the snap on the hose

  • To ensure the air supply connection is secure, attach the Velcro cover on the valve

  • To inflate the HoverMatt®, push the “On” switch down on the air supply canister

To avoid air flow obstruction ensure the hose is not twisted and lays parallel to the HoverMatt®.


The HoverMatt® must remain underneath the patient/resident and the air supply must remain on until the lateral transfer is complete and the patient/resident has been securely positioned on the intended surface or until the patient/resident has been moved and placed on the HoverJack.


HoverMatt & HoverJack™ (Raising patient/resident from floor to bed/stretcher)


Follow the steps in Procedure A to position the patient/resident on the HoverMatt, inflate the mattress and move the HoverMatt® along the floor next to the HoverJack™. Continue to inflate the HoverMatt® until it has been positioned and secured on the HoverJack™.


The HoverJack™ should be placed flat on the floor. The labels of the valve chambers are located at the foot end of the HoverJack™. Valve#1 should be positioned closest to the floor and Valve#4 closest to the ceiling.


Ensure all four red-capped deflation valves are closed tightly and all four white-capped valves are open.


The buckles of the two blue straps should be unfastened on the HoverJack™.


As the patient/resident has already been positioned on the HoverMatt®, now place the HoverMatt® onto the HoverJack™.


Two staff members position themselves on the same side of the HoverMatt® and hold onto the green straps of the HoverMatt® and pull the HoverMatt® with the patient/resident on it, onto the HoverJack™. During this transfer, the staff members must ensure that the HoverMatt® remains in proper position on the HoverJack™ and does not slide off. The third staff member stands on the opposite side and guides the transfer onto the HoverJack™ and ensures that the air supply remains in contact with the mattress.


With the patient/resident positioned on top of the HoverJack, turn off the air supply and disconnect the hose from the mattress.


Secure the HoverMatt to the HoverJack™ by looping the blue straps of the HoverJack™ through the green handles of the HoverMatt®. Fasten the buckles across the patient/resident to securely hold them in place but not too tightly to constrict the patient/resident.


Two staff members position themselves on either side of the HoverJack™ to ensure the patient/resident remains centered on the HoverMatt® during inflation of the HoverJack™.


The third staff member connects the air supply and inflates the HoverJack™:

  • Ensure the air supply is close to the HoverJack™ and the cord is plugged into an electrical outlet

  • Position the end of the hose to Valve 1 (the chamber closest to the floor) and turn on the air supply. Continue to inflate the chamber until firm.

  • Remove the hose from Valve 1.

  • Continue to inflate Valve 2 through 4 in same manner

  • Fasten the white caps onto the valves after the chambers have been filled

Turn off the air supply to the HoverJack™


Staff members position themselves around the HoverJack™. One at the head, another at the foot and the third staff member at the side.


The three staff members slowly and carefully move the HoverJack™ into position for the lateral transfer by using the long black strap at the head of the HoverJack™ or the grab handles attached to the ends or sides.


Once the HoverJack™ is alongside the bed or stretcher, unfasten and disconnect the blue straps of the HoverJack™.


Ensure brakes are on the bed or stretcher.


Ensure that the buckles and straps of the HoverMatt® are fastened to securely maintain the patient/resident’s position on the mattress.


Reconnect the air supply to the HoverMatt® and inflate the mattress. The HoverMatt is to remain inflated until the lateral transfer has been completed.


Two staff members stand next to each other on the opposite side of the bed/stretcher. In a stride stance, staff slide the HoverMatt® onto the receiving surface using proper body mechanics. Staff must ensure that the mattress does not slide off the bed/stretcher. The third staff member stands on the outside edge/side of the HoverJack™ and uses their legs to keep the HoverJack™ against the receiving surface and also assists gentle guides the mattress onto the receiving surface. Staff must ensure that the air supply remains connected to the HoverMatt® during the lateral transfer.


Once the patient/resident is safely on the bed/stretcher, turn off the air supply and disconnect the hose.


Unfasten the buckles of the HoverMatt® and remove the mattress from underneath the patient/resident by applying the ‘log roll’ technique.


To deflate the HoverJack™, remove all four red deflation caps from the valves and allow the air to escape.


Cleaning and Storage of HoverMatt® and HoverJack™


If a white disposable sheet was used between the patient/resident and the HoverMatt®, remove the sheet and dispose after single use.


Clean the HoverMatt® after each use with facility approved disinfectant.


Deflate once clean and allow to air dry. After dry, fold the HoverMatt® and store in the cart.


Clean the HoverJack™ when visibly soiled with facility approved disinfectant.


Deflate the HoverJack™ by removing all red deflation caps from the valves. For preparation of future use of this equipment also remove the white inflation caps. To fold the HoverJack™ and allow for further air escape, first fold lengthwise (bring the sides together) and then start at the head of the HoverJack™ and fold width-wise (end to end) a few times for an easier fit in the cart.


Laundry will carry out routine cleaning of the HoverMatt® and Rehab Assistants will dry this piece of equipment by using air from the air supply unit to circulate through the mattress.


Housekeeping will carry out a cleaning schedule for the underside of the HoverJack™. Please note that the HoverJack™ is NOT launderable.


Maintenance of HoverMatt® and HoverJack™


Inspection of the HoverMatt®, HoverJack™ and air supply filter will be conducted as part of the Facility management scheduled routine maintenance.


Visual Safety Inspection:

  • Lay the HoverMatt® and HoverJack™ on a flat surface. Inflate, deflate and inspect the following components:

  • Check all safety straps, loops and buckles. Twist with fingers and look for signs of fraying or loose threads. Ensure pull handles are properly attached to the HoverMatt® and HoverJack™.

  • Check the body of the mattress or jack for punctures, tears or any signs of wear of the material (i.e. thinning of fabric).

  • Inspect the valve caps to ensure proper fit and that air escape is not permitted.

If any problems are detected on inspection, the equipment must be removed from use and a work order initiated for Facility Management.

Responsibilities, Completion and Review

Performs all duties in accordance with established health and safety regulations/guidelines, policies and procedures (e.g. utilizing personal, protective equipment as per safe work procedures). Notifies their Manager or their designates (i.e. supervisors) of all occurrences, injuries illnesses or safety and health concerns which are likely to harm themselves, their co-workers, or any others who enter the premises.

Completed / Approved By:

S. Physiotherapist

Date Completed: December 2008

SWP Last Reviewed / Revised by and date:

H. Educator, March 2009

Note: This task will be monitored periodically to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

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