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

, 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."


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

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