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January 14, 2013
Electronic medical records may lead to ergo injuries

Cornell University ergonomics expert Dr. Alan Hedge says widespread adoption of electronic medical records could cause a rise in musculoskeletal injuries among doctors and nurses. The change to electronic recordkeeping will be spurred by billions in federal stimulus incentives.

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According to Hedge, the repetitive strain injuries 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.”

Hedge says it is similar to the 1980s, when computerization of workplaces was followed by an explosion in musculoskeletal injuries.

He added that healthcare employers are not necessarily knowledgeable about ergonomics and ways to prevent injuries.

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