Client/patient handling community of practice

A team of healthcare professionals in a circle and their hands placed on top of each other in the middle of the circle, symbolizing teamwork and collaboration

This free community of practice (CoP) led by CRE-MSD, in collaboration with the Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) and VHA Home HealthCare, is a network group of over 1,200 diverse healthcare practitioners (e.g., nurses, personal support workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists, gerontologists, physicians), and related practitioners (e.g., ethicists, researchers, ergonomists, managers, human resource personnel, educators, etc.) across multiple settings (i.e., home and community care, long-term care, hospital, retirement homes, rehabilitation centres) supporting the prevention of MSD in the healthcare sector.

What the community of practice offers

A diagram showing what the CoP offers, including: knowledge generation (through research, developing adn testing new resources, practices, and tools); knowlege translation & exchange (thorugh webinars and conferences); and capacity building (thorugh peer support, knowledge sharing, and problem solving)

MSD prevention in client/patient handling

Nearly one half of MSD injuries in the healthcare sector (48%) are related to moving clients through lifting, transferring or repositioning (WSIB, 2021). Clients have fewer falls, skin tears, pressure ulcers when safe handling programs are implemented. These involve more than just equipment and therefore, through this CoP, we present examples of current research on safe patient handling programs, policies that encourage the safest techniques, successful training and education programs, evaluation and improvement practices, and proven resources.

"Proper body mechanics and safe lifting training programs, emphasizing on-site, targeted training, has been effective and has received positive feedback from the attending staff."
Service Manager, Healthcare Rehabilitation, 2023

"This new CoP mobility and handling training resource is now the backbone of our PSW training program."
Manager, In-Home Services, Community Care Organization, 2020


The client/patient handling CoP is led and funded by CRE-MSD. Management and coordination support for the CoP is provided by CRE-MSD in partnership with in-kind support from PSHSA (an Ontario health & safety association) and VHA Home HealthCare (a community healthcare organization). The team consists of:

Catherine Brookman [lead]
Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange

Sherri Bastos
Director, Stakeholder and Government Relations

Emily King
Manager of Research
VHA Home HealthCare

Join us to share and create knowledge on what works and what practice gaps continue to act as barriers to the successful prevention of MSD in client/patient handling.


Register for upcoming webinars and review materials from past webinars.
View CoP events


A collection of relevant resources available for viewing and downloading.
View CoP resources