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Femida Kherani, Amin Kherani, Emi Sanders, Lorne Bellan; Canadian Ophthalmic Practitioners Ergonomics (COPE) Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):4157.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To assess ergonomics in Canadian ophthlamology practices, and to evaluate the impact of Electronic medical record systems on musculoskeletal discomfort.
This project was approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. A 25 question survey was distributed to the current mailing lists of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS), The Canadian Orthoptic Council (COC) , and the Canadian members of the Joint Commission for Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) listservs. The survey was open for four weeks, and a reminder email sent after 2 weeks to the entire mailing list. Data was collected on respondent demographics, practice history, use of an electronic medical record (EMR), workplace discomfort, and ergonomic consideration and implementation in the clinic, operating room and administrative areas.
317 completed surveys were returned, 142 from surgeons (44.8%) and 174 from allied health (54.9%) and one not indicating role. Within the surgeon cohort, 94 were male (66.2%), on average been in practice for 18.9 years (range=0-61, SD=13.5), and worked an average of 46 hours per week (r=3-100, SD=15). Within the Allied Health cohort, 9.8% were male (N=17), having worked an average of 15.8 years (r=0=45, SD=11.0) and a 36 hour work week (r=2-85, sd=11.0). 195 (72%) use an EMR, and of those who do, 76.9% (N=150) report some workplace discomfort, 35.4% (n=69) worse discomfort with an EMR. 61.2% (n=189) report increased workplace challenges with an EMR, and 78.2% (250) report ergonomics are important or very important consideration in their practice. Challenges to the workplace with EMRs were noted to include positioning of keyboard/computer to the patient, appropriate attention and eye contact with patients and difficulty maintaining good ergonomics along with others.
Within our survey, only 23.1% of respondents noted no workplace discomfort, with 61.2% (189) indicating that EMR have added challenges to ergonomics. Though changes are being considered within the clinic, operating rooms and administrative areas, workplace discomfort is still present and challenges exist. This study demonstrates the prevalence of workplace discomfort and highlights some of the challenges of our work.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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