Feb 14 2020

Why Ergonomics Matters in Healthcare IT Design

Advancements in technology can prompt injuries from repeated or improper use. Jonathan Puleio of Humanscale shares tips to work smart and safely.
Nurses and doctors have always faced job-related physical demands, such as lifting patients and standing on their feet for long shifts.  Recently, the adoption of new technologies — taxing to a user’s body but critical to care delivery — has brought on greater incidents of related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain.  During the early years of electronic medical records, for example, one study found that 40 percent of nurses reported symptoms immediately following EMR adoption. It’s why tech-savvy organizations must find a balance between utility and comfort. Jonathan Puleio, a certified professional ergonomist and global vice president at Humanscale, spoke about several risks posed by healthcare technology and how organizations and caregivers can optimize their work environments. DISCOVER: Improve the health and comfort of clinical staff with ergonomic products from Humanscale. HEALTHTECH: What are some common injuries resulting from heavy use of healthcare IT tools? Hand and wrist issues are common as a result of the extra typing and mousing. Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and tenosynovitis are caused by repetitive motion. Then there’s localized discomfort as a result of muscle fatigue in areas like the neck and shoulder and the upper or lower back.  Chronic neck pain, or “text neck,” is on the rise as a result of poor neck postures associated with increased mobile phone and tablet usage. In some instances, symptoms are se...

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