Navigation Links
Sharp spike in computer-related injuries predicted for medical workers, find studies
Date:12/4/2012

ITHACA, N.Y. As U.S. health care goes high tech, spurred by $20 billion in federal stimulus incentives, the widespread adoption of electronic medical records and related digital technologies is predicted to reduce errors and lower costs but it is also likely to significantly boost musculoskeletal injuries among doctors and nurses, concludes a Cornell University ergonomics professor in two new papers.

The repetitive strain injuries, he said, will stem from poor office layouts and improper use of computer devices.

"Many hospitals are investing heavily in new technology with almost no consideration for principles of ergonomics design for computer workplaces," said Alan Hedge, professor of human factors and ergonomics in Cornell's College of Human Ecology's Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. "We saw a similar pattern starting in the 1980s when commercial workplaces computerized, and there was an explosion of musculoskeletal injuries for more than a decade afterward."

For a paper published in the Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 56th Annual Meeting, held Oct. 22-26 in Boston, Hedge and James asked 179 physicians about the frequency and severity of their musculoskeletal discomfort, computer use in their clinic, knowledge of ergonomics and typing skills. The most commonly reported repetitive strain injuries were neck, shoulder and upper and lower back pain -- with a majority of female doctors and more than 40 percent of male doctors reporting such ailments on at least a weekly basis. About 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men reported right wrist injuries at a similar frequency. (Study: https://cornell.box.com/Hedge).

"These rates are alarming. When more than 40 percent of employees are complaining about regular problems, that's a sign something needs to be done to address it," said Hedge. "In a lot of hospitals and medical offices, workplace safety focuses on preventing slips, trips and falls and on patient handling, but the effects of computer use on the human body are neglected."

The gender differences, the authors write, appear to be in part because women reported spending about an hour longer on the computer per day than men.

In a second study of 180 physicians and 63 nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the same health system, published in a new volume, "Advances in Human Aspects of Healthcare" (CRC Press), more than 90 percent of respondents reported using a desktop computer at work. On average, they spent more than five hours per day using computers.

Fifty-six percent of doctors and 71 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants said their computer use at work had increased in the past year; 22 percent of doctors and 19 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants reported less time in face-to-face interactions with patients. Only about 5 percent of participants reported 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.

"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."


'/>"/>

Contact: Syl Kacapyr
vpk6@cornell.edu
607-255-7701
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Reading, Games May Help Aging Brains Stay Sharp
2. Mental Skills Decline More Sharply for Women With Alzheimers: Study
3. Sharp as a Tack at 90: Heres Why
4. Sharp Spike Seen in Swine Flu Cases: CDC
5. Humanities mini-courses for doctors sharpen thinking and creativity
6. Sleep Can Sharpen Your Memory
7. Gout Flare-ups Rise Sharply With Certain Foods: Study
8. Drinking green tea with starchy food may help lower blood sugar spikes
9. Antiobiotic Resistance Spikes During Flu Season
10. Abused Elderly Likely to Have Brain, Head and Neck Injuries
11. Injuries Skyrocket From Inflatable Bounce Houses: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Leading CEOs from biotech, ... 30th and 31st at The Four Seasons Hotel Boston. , The Boston ... sciences, offering exclusive access to key decision makers who influence deal making and ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Amir Qureshi, ... System, a powerfully versatile, patient-centric spinal cord stimulation system. The Nuvectra™ Algovita SCS System ... “We are pleased to be the first in Arkansas to introduce the most powerful ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... A new analysis of community health data reveals that four out of the ... the average cost of healthcare rising and the U.S. senior population expected to double ... of where they live. An annual 2017 report looked at a variety of community ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... produce the first ever copper, antimicrobial, mesh back 24/7 task chair specifically designed ... conference applications. “We are thrilled to partner with Cupron® to provide customers ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... After raising nearly $30,000 on Kickstarter , about ... available at a discounted crowdfunding price on Indiegogo . , “Along with creating ... wanted to bring a fidget toy to the market that was made of superior ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ) ... second quarter ended April 1, 2017 .   GAAP ... compared to the prior year period as the sale ... gain, while non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.50 increased 6.4%.  ... constant currency terms.  Excluding the effects of blood screening ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... 10, 2017 Radiology has become the number ... have also spiraled to the number one ranking as ... than ever before as the most complete and reliable ... with lower back pain an MRI may confirm a ... pain, resulting in entirely different treatment protocols.  In these ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... WASHINGTON , May 9, 2017  Demonstrating ... the board of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research ... criteria for membership. Biopharmaceutical companies will now have ... in order to be eligible to join PhRMA. ... criteria, the board is sending a clear message ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: