Tips for ergonomic electronic medical records work environments

In the rush to accommodate electronic health records, facilities may be creating unnecessary risks to staff

By Healthcare Facilities Today
November 26, 2013

According to an article on the Healthcare Design magazine website, in the rush to accommodate electronic health records, designers and owners may also be creating unnecessary risks with quick-fix retrofits in patient rooms and nursing stations. 

During the session "I Chart Ergo I Am - Ergonomic Design in an Era of Electronic Medical Records," at the 2013 Healthcare Design Conference in Orlando, Jessica Ellison, principal consultant, NorCal operations manager, Environmental and Occupations Risk Management, said designers and owners should think about how a space will be used and the type of electronic equipment that will be in the hands of the staff.

For computer-based work stations, for example, the spaces should be flexible and able to adapt to new technologies as well as expanding staff sizes. "Think about where you want people to sit," she said in the article,.

Ellison offered these suggestions for design considerations:

• Using height-adjustable work surfaces for sitting and standing

• Using keyboard trays, adjustable legs (for retrofits), and carts

• Considering placement of computer in relationship to patients so you can eliminate awkward postures for the staff

• Keeping work surfaces or small carts available in patient rooms, even where mobile devices are in use since employees will still need places to put their devices down to make notes or observe patients

• Using devices that can be docked so the staff isn't always having to hold the units while working

Read the article.


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