The old reading room at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, sandwiched between Ultrasound and Mammography on the second floor of the hospital, was cramped and poorly lit for the two radiologists who had to read at workstations without ergonomic adjustments. The small space could not accommodate more than two people at each station at a time, which also made it cumbersome for the radiologists when they had to stand and view older mammography films in a view box.
The Reading Room Evolution
The development of the new CIBC Breast Assessment Centre at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre created a unique opportunity to develop a new ergonomic radiology reading room environment that addressed all the issues with the existing space. Radiologists, technologists and ergonomic specialists were among those included on the capital development steering committee to ensure input was gathered from all constituents. When determining where the reading room should be located within the new breast assessment centre, flow into and out of the reading room was a major consideration. Because Juravinski Hospital is a teaching institution, design goals also included enabling radiologists to easily collaborate with colleagues and staff, and ensuring technologists and residents would be able to sit or stand behind the radiologists to learn and ask questions without being in the way. The layout of the radiologists workstation within the reading room as well as their ergonomic design, were carefully considered to ensure the radiologists were able to work comfortably and efficiently in the new space.
The new reading room environment enables the radiologists who work there to be more accessible to colleagues and staff, enhancing their value as consultants and educators. The design of the workstations, which includes integrated back lighting, reduces eye strain and encourages good ergonomic practices, which minimizes the risks of back, neck and wrist injuries to the radiologists as they read studies and offer their expertise. “As a result of optimizing the location and layout of the reading room, we are able to enhance the workflow for our radiologists and department staff,” says Kavita Dhamanaskar, MBBS, FRCPC, Associate Professor and Staff Radiologist in the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Director of the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre.