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:9/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star ... promote pancreatic health and regulate blood sugar levels . , Preventing diabetes ... negative side effects, and with the changes in today’s healthcare industry, not everyone ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... "Success Files," a short- ... Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease estimated to affect the lives of more than ... the Alzheimer’s Association, a leading voice in the fight for cure and research ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... ... of the Spirit: “Love””: a delightful adventure of two friends who play and ... “Love”” is the creation of published author, Halimah Jones, who was born and raised ... avid writer, her inspiration for “Fruit of the Spirit: “Love”” blossomed from her background ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... The ... at customers’ doorstep. According to Smart Mart, customers can now order vegetable, fruit, ... wearable, and customers can find clothing at discounted prices. Apart from this, Smart ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... other tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness, today announced the appointment of ... immunologist and microbiologist, Dr. Sellati has more than 20 years of research experience ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. ... Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... partnership to offer a strategic hub service that expedites ... highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness ... A spirometer is a medical device used to measure ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named the official ... Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National ... Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta ... In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up to, and ... ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... N.J. , Sept. 12, 2017  Consumer reviews on the ... Hearing as the number one company for hearing aids, ranking ... and fifteen other brands. ... Embrace Hearing Named #1 by Consumers For Hearing Aids ... Embrace Hearing is an online store that provides high ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: