The Ergonomics of EHR – Hospital Liability?

We often hear about the ways technology causes ergonomic problems for us and our health. Whether it’s wrist pain from all the typing or back pain from the way we sit or eye strain from looking at a screen all day. Technology has a number of really major challenges when it comes to ergonomics.

Unfortunately, I don’t think most hospitals have put much thought into the ergonomic impact of an EHR on their nurses and doctors. Since many of these health issues happen over time, I think we haven’t yet awoken to these problems. This is an issue that’s likely going to impact a lot of hospitals in the next 3-5 years.

Think about the potential liability a hospital could have because of a poorly done EHR implementation which causes back pain, wrist strain and kills people’s eyesight. That’s a really big deal and worth considering.

A while back I actually saw this infographic dedicated to some of the ergonomic challenges that nurses face in a hospital. We need to start talking about these topics a lot more or it’s going to grow into an enormous problem.

Hospital EHR Ergonomics

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I was getting SERIOUS back and neck pains, which clearly began just after we implemented our EMR. I got rid of my desk, and changes to a stand-up, but the problem continued. An ergonomics person came into my office, and I changed the location of my keyboard, and how I stand while doing procedures, and improved my general posture,a nd problem is basically gone. Too many docs/nurses go to massage therapy, instead of solving the underling ergonomics problem at their workstation/work. Hospitals will need to start looking at this kind of thing.

  • Thanks Dr. Witte for your comments. I plan on diving deeper into some of the things you said in some future posts. I thought this was a good starter for the discussion and we’ll dive deeper into people’s first hand experience like yours. Hopefully we can help some people dealing with this issue and help many more avoid the issue before it becomes a problem.

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