Every industry understands the importance of providing a safe and healthy work environment. What about Ergonomics? How does the healthcare professional “sell” the concept of ergonomics and apply the multidisciplinary science to gain productivity, quality and save their company profits?
Historically, back injuries have plagued direct nursing care employees through the activities of Manual Material Handling (MMH). For the most part, all of the patients are handled by one healthcare professional. Patients are human and not cartons, sacks or packages. They must be moved, carried, lifted, turned, transferred, pushed and pulled. The responsibility to remain injury free and continue working lies directly with the healthcare worker. Acute care and long term care facilities pay for the workers’ compensation claims, lost workdays and poor labor relations when these issues are not addressed and reduced. Ergonomics is the key for the solution.
What about the out patient clinics, radiology departments, emergency rooms, pharmacies, laundries, supply rooms, kitchens and food delivery employees. These workers have workstations, work methodologies and equipment might create exposures to risk factors as well.
Ergonomics is an essential business tool and best demonstrated with objective measurement techniques for cost benefit, increased efficiency and a happier workforce. Healthcare professionals must understand the importance of Ergonomics in every aspect of a healthcare environment and learn that ergonomics=economics.
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