Posted February 8, 2016 by HTR Editor in Whitepapers

Benefits of Ergonomic Mobile Technology Carts

The Challenges of Integrating Information Technology into Healthcare Settings

Healthcare administrators, insurance companies and patients alike are concerned with spiraling healthcare costs in every setting, from large academic medical centers to community- based acute care and outpatient facilities. Each group has a vested interest in reducing costs while increasing access to valuable patient services. Integrating information technology (IT) into healthcare is one way to streamline work and reduce expenses, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has budgeted $20 billion for investments in the infrastructure and systems that support healthcare information technology (HIT) and electronic health records (EHRs).

While HIT can provide many benefits, the rapid changes—from managing patient data with paper to creating EHRs—pose several challenges for healthcare professionals and institutions. Healthcare institutions and administrators are rushing to meet deadlines for adopting EHRs in order to comply with Meaningful Use standards, which require institutions to use EHRs to achieve benchmarks leading to improved patient care if they want to receive federal incentive payments.

And, healthcare workers, who have not traditionally used computers on the job, are challenged to learn to use new HIT systems and integrate computers and data into their daily workflow while continuing to maintain a high level of patient care. An added challenge is that caregivers, who have a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) rate seven times the national average for all occupations, I are now in jeopardy of developing MSDs associated with repeated computer use. In fact, some studies have shown up to a 40% increase in musculoskeletal discomfort following adoption of electronic medical records.

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