Five ways ergonomics is transforming the Medical Field

One of the biggest contributing factors in the world of medicine, today, is ergonomics. Whether patients are being operated on, recovering, or going through a treatment plan, ergonomics can fit in all fields and make medical services less stressful and more convenient for patients and healthcare staff.

Present-day medical practices are undoubtedly better than conventional ones. The biggest contributing
factor in the world of medicine is ergonomics. Whether patients are being operated on, recovering, or
going through a treatment plan, ergonomics can fit in all fields and make it convenient for patients and
healthcare staff.

What is ergonomics in medical practice?
Ergonomics is the accumulation of practices and equipment that enhances the efficiency of healthcare
staff while keeping the patient comfortable. The biggest factor when it comes to ergonomics in medical
practice is the surgical instruments. The right tools can cause lesser damage to the patient during
surgery and keep the surgical staff at ease.

Research has proven that healthcare staff that works in an ergonomic-friendly environment gain the
same advantages as conventional office workers. Since the quality of work done by the hospital team
can create a difference between life and death, any benefit is crucial. The increased technological
complexity and poorly adapted surgical equipment led to surgeon fatigue; therefore, ergonomic
integration in the healthcare system improves efficiency, comfort, and safety for the operating team.
Here are some of those benefits.

Reduce Critical Error:
In a healthcare facility even, a little error can have massive ramifications. Using ergonomic equipment
during medical procedures keeps surgeons and nurses at ease; therefore, critical error lessens up. Such
instruments also transform every surgery into minimally invasive ones. The calculated design of the
device ensures optimum precision and a to-the-point approach. Besides that, certain ergonomics
relating to data entry can also reduce the risk of entering patient’s misinformation into the system.

Increased patient comfort:
Although ergonomics is considered beneficial for medical staff, it is also great for the patients. Poorly
designed surgical instruments cause more harm than good to the patients. Ergonomically engineered
surgical equipment are less invasive, ensuring less patient trauma and enhanced recovery time. At the
same time, such devices also prevent muscle tremors in surgeons and keep the surgeries precise and to
the point. Such equipment acts as the extension of the surgeon’s fingers, and their lightweight ensures
easy manipulation.

Reduced risk of injury to healthcare staff:
The medical staff can get injured from several sources, including the injuries coming from handling
surgical instruments. One way to minimize these injuries is by switching to the ergonomics from
conventional equipment. Long hours of surgery cause a high number of work-related musculoskeletal
disorders; therefore, equipment change offers more comfort to the staff and physical support they need
to avoid strain and injury.

Improved Efficiency:
Ergonomic accessories are not only convenient; they also enable a high level of efficiency too. These
instruments ensure doctors and nurses remain in a comfortable and natural position during an
operation. The computer-assisted design makes the instrument highly efficient and more versatile. The
advanced surgical tools allow medical staff to address more patients during working hours than before.
Besides that, the latest trends in healthcare have also increased accuracy in diagnosis and prognosis.

With proper care and handling, modern-day surgical instruments tend to last longer. The manufacturers
usually craft this equipment using premium grade stainless steel that makes it autoclavable and sturdy.
Conventional tools required changeover every few months making it difficult for the healthcare team to
maintain their budget. Therefore, procuring and maintenance of the ergonomic equipment is
considered cost-effective.

The importance of ergonomics in the medical facility continues to become particularly higher. By choosing the right instruments, you will be able to prioritize the safety and comfort of both medical staff and patients.
Here, we have sourced the impact of ergonomics in the medical field.

Article By Emily Sofia
Emily is a business communications coach who teaches writing, speaking, and leadership skills to adults in the midst of a career change. I cover topics such as effective workplace communications, Medical Sciences, and public speaking skills.

VA Study Supports Advanced Practitioner Led Care

A new study has found no clinically important differences in patient outcomes, regardless of whether their provider is a physician, PA, or NP.

A study conducted by a Durham VA Health Care System has found that Veterans Affairs patients with diabetes have similar health outcomes, regardless of whether their care provider is a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.

Researchers examined the outcomes of more than 600,000 veterans with diabetes, a patient type that represents a large population within the VA, and who often have complex healthcare needs. Of the patients whose outcomes were studied, physicians were the usual provider for 77% of them, with the remaining patients under the care of a PA or NP. The researchers did not find any statistically significant differences in quality of care, nor any clinically important differences in patient outcomes, based on the discipline of the provider.

“Our study found that there were not clinically important differences in intermediate diabetes outcomes for patients with physicians, NPs, or PAs in both the usual and supplemental provider roles, providing additional evidence for the role of NPs and PAs as primary care providers,” said Dr. George Jackson, a research health scientist with the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT) at the Durham VA Medical Center and author of the study.

A news release from the VA regarding the study goes on to state, “The fact that PAs and NPs had similar results for quality of care without sharing care with a physician suggests that using these providers in primary care may improve the efficiency of health care.”

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Kim’s Blog: Stand Up and Support Patients’ Wishes

What effort does it take to support a patient’s wishes? It’s not merely documenting them, but putting the wheels into motion to do, or to NOT do things.

by Kimberly Spering, MSN, FNP-BC

What effort does it take to support a patient or family’s wishes? It’s often not merely documenting those wishes, but putting the wheels into motion to do, or to NOT do things.

I received a request from my staff the other day to open a palliative care case – a new patient, on a Friday. Typically, I like my new patients to be earlier in the week, as those visits can last for hours, and, quite frankly, I like to be done at a reasonable hour prior to the start of my weekend, rather than chart until 8 – 9 PM.

“We think she may need hospice support. It’s not urgent, of course,” I was told.

I reviewed the patient’s chart. A nonagenarian at almost 91 years old, she had dementia, which unfortunately worsened after a CVA several years ago. She had been a fully independent, active person until she fell and suffered pelvic fractures almost two months ago. She went to rehabilitation, came home, then was found lethargic with a low SpO2 in the 70s. She returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary emboli. She was started on anti-coagulation, which was quickly stopped due to GI bleeding. An IVC filter was placed. The GI specialists felt she was too frail and declined any invasive evaluation of the bleeding. Our palliative care inpatient team saw her and discussed hospice, but the son was not ready to make that decision.

Due to concerns about her care with the nursing home with her first rehabilitation stay, her son requested that she come home, where she has had 16 hours/day of aide support.

I arrived to find her son on the phone with her PCP’s office. Her hemoglobin had decreased from 11.8 to 10.2 in several days, so the PCP recommended ED evaluation.

Three days ago, however, she had presented to the ED for black, tarry stools (which continued after anti-coagulation was stopped). Her hemoglobin was stable, so she was discharged home.

Her son was irate, because it took hours for an ambulance transport to bring her home (at 1:30 AM), and when she got there, she was full of feces that hadn’t been cleaned up.

So, when the PCP office called today, saying, “take her back to the ED,” he was less than willing to do so.

I spoke with the office staff during that call, telling them I was there to evaluate her, and we would see how she was.

I started the conversation by reviewing her hospital stays, then led this into discussion of their goals of care.

“I don’t want her to go back to the hospital,” he first said. “I want to keep her at home and care for her here.”

After much discussion of hospice support, he admitted that he wasn’t ready for hospice, as he wanted to keep checking her CBC and have her get blood if needed. At the same time, he declined an EGD and colonoscopy, and he really did not want her to go back to the hospital, although he “would if it was needed.”

We discussed her decreased Hgb level, as well as his wishes for further care. Because he wanted the option to return to the hospital, getting blood if needed, she would not be appropriate for hospice anyway.

I gently explained my worries that with a continued slow GI bleed, that she eventually would become hypoxic and more lethargic, but unfortunately, with her current Hgb of 10.2, likely the hospital would NOT transfuse her at this point. In fact, the hospitalist previously documented transfusions only if her Hgb was < 7.5. Going to the ED would not be beneficial today, given that her vitals were stable, she was not SOB, and did not appear toxic.

Her son was relieved after this discussion. He has his own significant health issues, and in fact had an appointment today. We reviewed danger signs – increased dyspnea, lower SpO2, increased lethargy/weakness, increased black stools, etc.

I made another phone call to the PCP office and also messaged the patient’s PCP about the symptoms, evaluation, and son’s preference for repeat labs in a few days. As of this blog, I have not heard back.

What was important was to advocate for the patient and son. Had she seemed toxic or decompensated, given that he wanted labs and blood, I would have reiterated the need for ED evaluation.

Looking at the bigger picture, however, brought up a few points:

  • GI did not want to perform invasive testing.
  • Her Hgb was stable and not at a level to warrant transfusion.
  • The son’s goal is to keep her at home and minimize any invasive testing or hospitalization.

So, can one simply look at a hemoglobin level and recommend ED evaluation?

Really, it’s an individual decision, based on individual factors. Not simply a hemoglobin level. I imagine that the ED staff would roll their eyes having a patient with this hemoglobin roll in, particularly since parameters were clearly set only days ago.

So, once again – it points out that we need to advocate for our patients, explain their diagnoses, treatment options, risks, and benefits. Discussing their goals of care is essential. Do the possibilities of treatment coincide with their goals? Are we simply chasing “numbers,” rather than looking at the whole picture?

I get it, from my palliative perspective, it’s all about quality of life. Function. Comfort. Goals of care.

In this case, however, I think her goals are clear. Minimize hospitalizations if possible, but still check labs and transfuse if needed. There will be more discussions of her goals at my next visit. This is an on-going conversation, not a once-and-done deal.

Think about discussing your patients’ goals of care, whether or not they currently face life-limiting illness. It may only occur during an annual wellness visit. It may occur after a significant health crisis. But please, discuss it. You may be the only person willing to do so.

Wouldn’t we all want the same? Think about it.

Kim Spering has been a nurse for over 25 years and worked as an NP over the past 15 years in Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Internal Medicine, and now Palliative Medicine. She serves as an editorial board member of Clinician 1 and submit blogs to the website, with a goal of highlighting both the clinician and patient experience in health care.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

A Hospital’s Human Touch: Why Taking Care In Discharging A Patient Matters

Patients and caregivers want to feel prepared to look after themselves or loved ones when they leave the hospital, and they want to know that their needs will be attended to until they stabilize or recover, however long that takes.

Judith Graham

The kidney doctor sat next to Judy Garrett’s father, looking into his face, her hand on his arm. There are things I can do for you, she told the 87-year-old man, but if I do them I’m not sure you will like me very much.

The word “death” wasn’t mentioned, but the doctor’s meaning was clear: There was no hope of recovery from kidney failure. Garrett’s father listened quietly. “I want to go home,” he said.

It was a turning point for the man and his family. “This doctor showed us the reality of my father’s condition,” Garrett said, gratefully recalling the physician’s compassion. A month later, her father passed away peacefully at home.

This kind of caring is what older adults want when they become seriously ill and move back and forth between the hospital and other settings, according to the largest study ever of patients’ and caregivers’ experiences with care transitions.

Two other priorities are also crucially important, according to recently published research: Patients and caregivers want to feel prepared to look after themselves or loved ones when they leave the hospital, and they want to know that their needs will be attended to until they stabilize or recover, however long that takes.

What’s striking is how often hospitals fail to fulfill these expectations, even though it’s been known for decades that care transitions are problematic and strategies to reduce preventable hospital readmissions have been widely adopted.

“Despite millions of dollars of investment and thousands of hours of effort, the health care system still feels very hazardous, unsafe and stressful from the perspective of patients and caregivers,” said Dr. Suzanne Mitchell, assistant professor of family medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and lead author of the new report.

She’s part of a team of experts spearheading Project ACHIEVE, a five-year, $15 million study investigating the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve care transitions. The focus is on what Medicare patients and caregivers need and want when a hospital stay ends and they return home.

One part of the project involves asking people who undergo these transitions — mostly older adults — about their experiences: what went well, what didn’t. In addition to the new report, a survey of more than 9,000 patients and 3,000 caregivers is close to completion. Results will be published this fall.

Another part involves looking at what hospitals are doing to try to improve transitions, such as teaching patients and caregivers how to care for wounds or arranging follow-up phone calls with a nurse, among other strategies. A preliminary research report published last year found common problems with transition programs, including haphazard, uncoordinated approaches and a lack of teamwork and leadership.

Several areas deserve special attention, according to people who participated in focus groups and in-depth interviews for Project ACHIEVE:

Getting Actionable Information

Too often, doctors speak to patients and caregivers in “medicalese” and fail to address what patients really want to know — such as “What do I need to do to feel better?” — said Dr. Mark Williams, Project ACHIEVE’s principal investigator and chief transformation and learning officer at the University of Kentucky HealthCare system.

“You really need someone to walk you through what you’re going to need, step by step,” Williams said.

Nothing of the sort occurred when Anita Brazill’s parents, ages 86 and 87, were hospitalized seven times in Scranton, Pa., between Dec. 25, 2016, and Feb. 13, 2017.

First, her mother needed emergency gastrointestinal surgery, then her father became ill with pneumonia. Both went to an understaffed rehabilitation facility after leaving the hospital, and both bounced right back to the hospital — five times altogether — because of complications.

Each time her parents left the hospital, Brazill felt unprepared.

“You’re out on the concrete of the discharge pavilion and they send you off by ambulance or car without a guidebook, without any sense of what to expect or who to call,” she said.

Planning Collaboratively

Ideally, when preparing to release a patient, hospital staff should inquire about older patients’ living circumstances, social support and the help they think they’ll need, and discharge plans should be crafted collaboratively with caregivers.

In practice, this doesn’t happen very often.

In May, Art Greenfield, 81, was admitted at 3 a.m. to a hospital near his home in Santa Clarita, Calif., with severe food poisoning and dehydration. Less than six hours later, after a sleepless night, a hospitalist he had never met walked into his room and told him she was sending him home because his situation had stabilized. (Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in caring for people in the hospital.)

“She had no idea if he could pee without the catheter they’d put in or get out of bed on his own,” said Hedy Greenfield, 76, his wife. “I wasn’t there, and no one asked him if there was somebody who could take care of him at home when he got there. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to say I’m not ready, I need to stay another day.”

Expressing Caring

Over and over again, patients and caregivers told Project ACHIEVE researchers how important it was to feel that health professionals care about their well-being.

Simple gestures can make a difference. “It’s looking at you, rather than the computer,” said Carol Levine, director of the families and health care project at United Hospital Fund in New York. “It’s knowing your name and giving you a sense of ‘I’m here for you and on your side.’”

Without this sense of caring, patients and caregivers often feel abandoned and lose trust in health care professionals. With it, they feel better able to handle concerns and act on their doctors’ recommendations.

Kathy Rust of Glendale, Calif., remembers walking into a room at an outpatient clinic and seeing a doctor stroking her mother’s hair and calming her before reinserting a feeding tube that the 93-year-old woman had pulled out. “He was making sure she was comfortable,” Rust said, recalling how moved she was by this doctor’s sensitivity.

Anticipating Needs

Few people know what they’ll need in the aftermath of a medical crisis: They want doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers or care managers to help them figure that out and devise a practical plan.

Under the CARE Act — now enacted in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — hospital staff are required to ask patients if they want to identify a caregiver (some choose not to do so) and to educate that caregiver about medical responsibilities they’ll face at home. But implementation has been inconsistent, Levine and other experts said.

Rust panicked the first time her mother’s feeding tube came out, by accident. “I called the transition service at my hospital’s outpatient clinic, and they sent someone over in 30 minutes,” she said. “They were very reassuring that I had done the right thing in calling them, very calming. It was such a positive experience that I wasn’t afraid to contact them with all kinds of questions that came up.”

Too often, however, discharges are hurried and caregivers unaware of what they’ll face at home. Levine tells of an older woman who was handed a pile of paperwork when her husband was being released from the hospital. “She couldn’t read it because she had macular degeneration and no one had thought to ask ‘Do you understand this and do you have any questions?’”

Ensuring Continuity Of Care

“Patients and families tell us that once they leave the hospital, they don’t know who’s responsible for their care,” said Karen Hirschman, an associate professor and NewCourtland Chair in Health Transitions Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

The name of a person to call with questions would be helpful as would round-the-clock access to emergency assistance — for months, if needed.

“It’s not just ‘Now you’re home and we called you a few times to follow up,’” Hirschman said. “It can take much longer for some patients to recover, and they want to know that someone is accountable for their well-being all the way through.”

Judy Garrett found that having cellphone numbers for a home health care nurse and a doctor who made house calls was essential, until hospice took over shortly before her father’s death.

“My advice to families is be physically present as much as possible, although I know that’s not always easy,” she said. “Appoint one person in the family to be the point person for medical professionals to reach out to. Request cellphone numbers, but use them only when you have to. And if you don’t understand what professionals are telling you, ask until you do.”

We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit to submit your requests or tips.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

3 Lessons from Retail to Enhance Consumer-Centered Healthcare

Hospitals can adopt billing strategies from retail stores to improve the patient experience and support consumer-centered healthcare.


In the wake of increased out-of-pocket patient spending and value-based care initiatives, the medical industry is embracing the importance of consumer-centered healthcare. Patients are being viewed as key stakeholders in their own care because they have newly recognized purchasing power that will determine where patients receive their care.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

How Hospitals Can Improve Their Patients’ Care Experience

As competition among health care providers intensifies, they are under pressure to deliver a high-quality, cost-effective and pleasant consumer experience.

from H&HN

Sweeping changes to the health care landscape are motivating providers to prioritize the patient as a customer. For many, there is a desire to expand capacity to meet the evolving health needs of patient populations. At the same time, new entrants, such as urgent care centers and drugstores that provide health services, are creating new kinds of competition — and raising the bar for customer service in health care. Furthermore, technology is transforming how customers make buying decisions and purchase goods and services. Consumers want convenience, quality and speed, whether at the coffee shop or the doctor’s office.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Three Ways Nurse Practitioners Are Transforming Healthcare Delivery from Hospital to Home

Here are three reasons why hospitals are turning to NPs and improving patient care in the process.

from Becker’s Hospital Review

Hospitals have employed nurse practitioners for decades, but only recently have they begun to capitalize on NPs’ potential.Changes in NP licensure laws, a swiftly aging patient population and increasing pressures from Medicare to focus on care quality has elevated the profile of NPs as key players in a new age of cost-conscious, quality hospital care. Here are three reasons why hospitals are turning to NPs and improving patient care in the process.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Workplace Drama Affects Patient Care and Is Seldom Addressed

Research shows workers feel they can’t discuss workplace problems, but that good management helps.

from HealthcareFinance

A new study by VitalSmarts shows that workplace drama, and the fact that it is seldom addressed, is yielding substantial reductions in patient safety and quality of care. “While most employees and physicians frequently witness these interpersonal concerns, few address the problems,” the company said.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.