How to test drive a PACS workstation

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The relationship between the PACS workstation and the user is a bit like a marriage. Those little nuances that may seem cute in the beginning of the relationship are sure to frustrate the other party in the relationship after the romance wears off. Steven Horii, MD, department of radiology at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center—who spoke this week at an advanced imaging informatics session at the 93rd annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)—offers some methods to help radiologists make the best match in their workstation relationship.

  • See how far a user can progress without any instruction. “This method measures intuitiveness, but isn’t a serious evaluation of the workstation,” cautioned Horii.
  • The keystroke model counts the number of keystrokes required to accomplish basic tasks.
  • The error model counts the number of mistakes made trying to accomplish a particular task.
  • Fitt’s law measures cursor motion needed to hit desired controls.
  • The mouse odometer measures mouse movement during a given time.
  • Time-on-task tracks the amount of time each task or study view requires. Time-on-task should be multiplied by volume to achieve an accurate assessment.