Grant Application

Susan Svec, RN, UPMC Presbyterian Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)


Proposed Innovation

Use passive range-of-motion bicycles as early as the second day in the ICU to expedite and improve patient mobility. Many patients in the MICU are awaiting or have received lung transplants. Early mobility is an important focus that can help such patients get off of ventilators and out of the ICU earlier.


Improvements in Action

With a grant from the Beckwith Institute and matching funds from UPMC Presbyterian, Ms. Svec purchased two passive range-of-motion bicycles for her ICU. She and her team collected data between May and September 2012 to evaluate positive impact on their patient population. Visiting families were pleased to see that their loved ones had improved mobility, thus preventing muscle wasting and boosting overall body function.



Out of the 228 patients in the trial, only seven were unable to tolerate use of the devices, mostly because of muscle spasms. Early mobility is now part of the MICU routine. The program helps to closely evaluate what patients are able to do each day.

The innovative thinking that originated with this program has stimulated further dialogue about the importance of early mobility and has prompted system-wide programs at UPMC for early intervention among ICU patients.