The filmless radiology reading room: a survey of established picture archiving and communication system sites.

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The purpose of this study was to survey radiologists experienced in soft-copy diagnosis using computer workstations about their current reading room environment, their impressions of the efficacy of their reading room design, and their recommendations based on their experience for improvement of the soft-copy reading environment. Surveys were obtained from radiologists at seven sites representing three major picture archiving and communication system (PACS) vendors throughout the world that have had extensive experience with soft-copy interpretation of radiology studies. The radiologists filled out a detailed survey, which was designed to assess their current reading room environment and to provide them with the opportunity to make suggestions about improvement of the PACS reading rooms. The survey data were entered into a database and results were correlated with multiple parameters, including experience with PACS, types of modalities interpreted on the system, and number of years of experience in radiology. The factors judged to be most important in promoting radiologist productivity were room lighting, monitor number, and monitor brightness. Almost all of the radiologists indicated that their lighting source was from overhead rather than indirect or portable light sources. Approximately half indicated they had the capability of dimming the brightness of the overhead lighting. Most radiologists indicated that they were able to adjust room temperature but that they did not have individual temperature controls at their workstations. The radiologists indicated that the most troublesome sources of noise included background noise, other radiologists, and clinicians much more than noise from computer monitors, technologists, or patients. Most radiologists did not have chairs that could recline or arm rests. Most did have wheels and the capability to swivel, both of which were judged important. The majority of chairs also had lumbar support, which was also seen to be important. Radiologists commonly adjusted room lighting and their reading chair, but rarely adjusted room temperature or monitor brightness. The median number of hours spent at the workstation before taken a "break" was 1.5. Common recommendations to improve the room layout included compartmentalization of the reading room and availability of the hospital/radiology information system at each workstation. The survey data suggest several areas of potential improvement based on radiologists' experience. Optimization of soft-copy reading room design is likely to result in decreased fatigue and increased productivity.




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Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology




Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Medical Imaging

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