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As Doctors Go High-Tech, Staff Injuries May Rise
Date:12/7/2012

percent of them used a desktop computer and, on average, spent more than five hours a day using computers.

Fifty-six percent of doctors and 71 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants said their amount of computer use at work had increased in the past year. Only about 5 percent of them said they had an "expert knowledge" of ergonomics, and more than two-thirds said they had no input in the planning or design of their computer or clinical workstation.

The study was published in the book "Advances in Human Aspects of Healthcare."

"We can't assume that just because people are doctors or work in health care that they know about ergonomics," Hedge said. "With so many potential negative effects for doctors and patients, it is critical that the implementation of new technology is considered from a design and ergonomics perspective."

Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

While the study found an association between increased used of technology in medical offices and complaints of pain by workers, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about repetitive motion injuries.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Cornell University, news release, Dec. 3, 2012


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