Ergonomics concerns and the impact of healthcare information technology

Published

Journal Article

The US healthcare industry is poised on the verge of a massive expansion of its information technology infrastructure. Healthcare information technology (IT) is permeating numerous areas of healthcare delivery and fundamentally changing the nature of many healthcare jobs. When a comparable expansion in HIT use occurred in the office environment in the 1980s, little attention was paid to ergonomic design principles for computer work and the consequence was an increase in work-related musculoskeletal disorders throughout the 1990s. There are already signs of similar problems among certain groups of healthcare professionals. Consequently, it is vital that when the implementation of HIT is undertaken attention is paid to computer ergonomics programs. This review presents evidence that current patterns of HIT use may pose increased risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. It summarizes some of the main ergonomic design principles enshrined in standards that mitigate such problems. It points to the future expansion of ergonomics programs beyond the traditional workplace and into the realms of telecommuting. Results from this review can be used to optimize the implementation of future HIT initiatives in ways that will benefit user performance while minimizing their injury risks. Relevance to industry: This review describes the rapid proliferation of HIT applications and the importance of ergonomic considerations in mitigating injury risks and optimizing the implementation of HIT systems. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hedge, A; James, T; Pavlovic-Veselinovic, S

Published Date

  • July 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 41 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 345 - 351

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-8219

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0169-8141

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ergon.2011.02.002

Citation Source

  • Scopus