At the November 2023 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting in Chicago, the old advice of “see with your eyes not with your hands” does not apply. While exploring the exhibits for the latest and greatest in radiology, don’t miss the Xybix booth. Our friendly healthcare sales team will encourage you to touch and feel everything on our imaging desks, from the height-adjustable table to the personalized lighting and climate controls to the expert monitor arms.
Over the last 25 years, I’ve talked to a lot of people, including radiologists. I’ve learned what they need in an imaging desk—things such as sit-to-stand flexibility, easy ways to manage large arrays of monitors, cable management, task lighting, and bias lighting. And then I always enjoy talking to radiologists about features they probably didn’t know they needed.
As I write this from my bright and sunny office, I need to remind myself that radiologists do not have the luxury of sunshine and light at work while reading at their PACS workstations. This is a problem because the dim rooms they work in contribute significantly to burnout levels in radiology of more than 50%. In addition, working for long periods in low levels of ambient light can disrupt circadian rhythms and lead to depression—which doesn’t really help on the burnout front.
Ergonomic imaging desks are designed to help radiologists stay comfortable and productive while they work. But not all ergonomic desks are created equal. Some are more customizable than others, which is important for many reasons related to the health, safety, and morale of radiologists. And being customizable is not enough—the process of adjusting the desk needs to be so easy that it’s second nature to the radiologist coming on shift or needing a boost throughout the day.
Workstations designed specifically for radiology equipment—and, more importantly, for radiologists—are essential equipment in healthcare facilities. In many cases, the desks are used and abused 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This is why you need to select imaging desks that are built to last.
Radiologists play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and they rely heavily on medical images to make their assessments. However, the long hours radiologists spend looking at computer screens can lead to eyestrain, which can interfere with their ability to see the images clearly and accurately. As a result, it’s important to reduce eye strain in any ways you can, including through a reading environment that is conducive to optimal screen viewing.
Choosing the right manufacturer for your radiology imaging desks involves many factors, including cost, warranty, ROI, ergonomics, durability, ease of use, and IT considerations such as managing cables and swapping out equipment. Given all the issues involved, it’s important to include all stakeholders in the decision making. In fact, if you don’t, you can not only offend a colleague but make a mistake and end up hearing “I could have told you” from those excluded.
Can sit-to-stand imaging desks increase productivity in radiologists? According to some evidence, yes. In fact, a controlled environment study published in the journal Radiology found that radiologists who used sit-to-stand desks for 12 weeks had a 10% increase in productivity, as measured by the number of studies read per hour. The study also found that the radiologists who used sit-to-stand desks reported feeling less fatigued and more comfortable at the end of the workday.
When choosing desks for a telemetry room, it's important to consider the specific needs of your staff and equipment along with the space available. By taking the time to choose the right desks, you can create a comfortable and functional work environment that will help your staff provide the best possible care for your patients.
If there’s one thing we all know it’s this: Imaging desks and radiology equipment are heavy and hard to move. Is the answer to put these desks on wheels (casters) so you can simply push them around? Well, no. Casters cause two problems: they raise the desk height (which can be uncomfortable for users) and they add instability (which can be catastrophic for equipment). As a result, I believe smooth-bottomed furniture glides perform better in most radiology reading rooms. Read on for why.