Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Building a New Radiology Reading Room: Lessons Learned

Published on Nov. 27, 2012, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

CHICAGO — Take a look around your reading room. If it looks the same as it did 10, 15, maybe 20 years ago, it’s time for an update — STAT. Your productivity could be far lower than it should be, and you and your colleagues could be experiencing physical damage.

“There’s never been a more critical need for improving the ergonomics of the radiology reading room,” Eliot Siegel, MD, a diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine professor and vice chairman of informatics at the University of Maryland, told a group at this year’s RSNA annual meeting. “Volume and complexity is at an all-time high. I can’t overstate how important this is.”

Complaints of repetitive motion disorders, neck strain, and eye fatigue are growing among providers, he said, and many are retiring early on disability because of these ailments. Radiologists at University of Maryland considered these issues when redesigning their reading room after converting to a completely filmless system. The process was long, and they made mistakes. Eventually, however, they identified the best characteristics of reading rooms that minimize stress and maximize productivity.

Here are Siegel’s suggestions:

1. Find the right lighting. Abandon any overhead, fluorescent lighting immediately, and create as close a match as possible between the brightness of your workstation monitors and the ambient light. Without that match, reading time and provider fatigue will increase while accuracy decreases. Also, consider providing your radiologists with individual ambient lighting and task lighting. They will work best in an environment that feels the most comfortable.

2. Give yourself control of your climate. You wouldn’t buy a car without heating or air conditioning you could control at the push of a button. Don’t design a reading room where you don’t have the ability to manage air flow or manipulate the temperature. Work with your colleagues to find an agreed upon temperature, and choose wisely. The wrong temperature will decrease efficiency. For most people, optimal temperature hovers around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, but highest productivity frequently occurs a few degrees below that.

To read the remainder of the article at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/conference-reports/rsna2012/content/article/113619/2116706

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December 5, 2012 - Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , ,

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