Radiologists find 13-button mouse useful for everyday tasks

Radiologists are completing more exams with fewer resources—thanks, in part, to new technology increasing personal efficiency.

When one institution gave radiologists a programmable 13-button mouse over a two-day period, many preferred non-conventional device over the conventional three-button variety, according to a study published in the Journal of Digital Imaging.

“In an era of decreasing radiologist reimbursement and increasing exam volume and complexity, it is imperative that radiologists explore multiple options to optimize workflow efficiency to meet the future demands of the specialty,” wrote lead author Kevin Denton, with the Department of Radiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center and colleagues.

Authors surveyed a group of 59 radiology staff and residents in a tertiary care center before and after a tutorial and following a two-day study period with the mouse.

Overall, 35 percent of respondents reported they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the conventional mouse they used before testing the 13-button mouse. However, after the trial period, more than 76 percent of participants said they “agreed” or “somewhat agreed” they preferred using the non-conventional mouse for their work.

Results also showed 66 percent perceived the non-conventional mouse to be more efficient for viewing images. Additionally, more than 62 percent believed the mouse required less time to view images, and 74 percent thought it required less effort to view images.

“The results of this study suggest that current radiologist workstations employ non-optimized user interface technology, specifically regarding the mouse, as participants demonstrated a significant preference for using the non-conventional mouse with enhanced functionality compared to the conventional mouse,” Denton and co-authors wrote. “Moreover, increased availability of and training in non-conventional mice may be well received by academic radiologists regardless of subspecialty and training level.”