The Painful Need for Ergonomics in Healthcare

growing need for ergonomics in healthcare

The last time the US Bureau of Labor released statistics on musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace, healthcare workers topped the list - by a large margin. While this includes patient care (such as lifting, turning, bending, reaching overhead, etc.), many of these injuries can be attributed to traditional office and factory injuries. These include those resulting from poor posture and alignment with computer workstations (which are being used increasingly) and being subjected to long periods of standing in a stationary position such as during surgery and other longer procedures and treatments. Milagon Healthcare understands the need for ergonomics in healthcare and is dedicated to alleviating this growing category of injuries and lost productivity for healthcare workers.

Problems with Poor Ergonomics in Healthcare

Poor ergonomic support hurts the physical and financial health of an organization. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) acquired from a lack of attention to workplace ergonomics in healthcare cause a variety of immediate and long-term financial concerns due to lower productivity, including:

  • Workers compensation claims for hospitalization, office visits, prescription costs, or any other medical treatment
  • Insurance premiums from workplace injuries
  • Poor or inefficient work performance due to injury or general discomfort
  • Payment of overtime hours to cover worker absences
  • Litigation or investigation costs for a particular incident
  • Decreased worker morale
  • Orientation and training costs to replace injured employees

These costs afflict many healthcare companies that don't embrace workplace ergonomics in healthcare settings. Because people spend one third of their professional lives in chairs, they need an ergonomic solution that will provide them with proper support to sustain their work performance. The tertiary effects on patients resulting from poor clinician performance are difficult to measure, but it's clear that optimal patient care must begin with peak practitioner health, and adopting proper ergonomics in healthcare settings is the best way to support this goal.

The Hidden Costs of Low Back Pain

"Back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of work loss."

School of Health Professions-University of Missouri-Columbia Citing Archives of Internal Medicine