In the midst of testing and rolling out iPads for use with electronic health records (EHRs) — or a year from now, maybe one of the Android or Windows tablet competitors — from the looks of recent expert blog posts, IT leaders should consider soliciting a consult from occupational safety leaders in their facilities.
No one is saying that a tablet implementation will lead to worker’s compensation claims or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaints. Nevertheless, hospitals that do get into hot water with these issues sometimes find trouble when they buy equipment without considering ergonomics.
Early ergonomic reviews of the iPad, one would think, would translate to any device with the same form factor. Check out some of them:
- Part 1 and Part Deux of Ergolab’s discussion of the iPad suggest that typing on the iPad for any length of time potentially could “create neck pain, possible eye strain and could cause injury.” This, coming from an unabashed iPhone fan.
- Massage therapist Sue Shekut breaks down the specific difficult movement and posture issues with iPad use at her Working Well Resources blog.
- English tech pundit Donald Clark lists 10 reasons the iPad is “an ergonomic disaster”, or at least a major inconvenience to use.
Granted, none of these bloggers is an OSHA inspector or worker’s comp adjuster. However, they provide enough food for thought that IT leaders at health care facilities should cover their bases — and seek the counsel of in-house experts — before they give in to physician demand to bring iPad EHRs online in their backyards.