What types of injuries can result from working at a PACS workstation, and what are some potential remedies?
Repetitive stress symptoms have been reported in the literature as being highly prevalent among radiologists working in PACS-based environments. Compared to film reading environments, PACS-based environments and electronic workstations have important factors that directly affect comfort and, therefore, performance, including seating, heat, noise, and light. For example, cubital tunnel syndrome may result from compression of the ulnar nerve at the medial elbow due to prolonged elbow flexion or extrinsic pressure. Having a padded chair arm rest and a hands-free dictation microphone can help prevent this syndrome. Additional interventions including use of an ergonomic mouse, adjustable chairs, workstation tables, and educational training have resulted in improved symptoms. With the advent of filmless interpretation, growing concerns regarding repetitive stress symptoms have prompted some radiology departments to implement ergonomic solutions.