The design of workstations for use in picture archival and communications systems (PACS) has
received a significant amount of attention; rightfully so, as it is the most noticeable element in such a
system. Various aspects of medical imaging workstations have been studied in detail, including feature
requirements, user interface, performance requirements, and other human factors considerations.
Experience during implementation of the CommView system PACS has shown that it is most
important to carefully consider the operational environment in which these workstations will be placed
to match the tasks and flow of information to, from, and within the workstation with the tasks and
flow of information in the traditional film-based environment. Equally important is the cost of such a
workstation. and the well - designed workstation is one that successfully matches the operational
environment at a reasonable price.
We describe in this paper the process undertaken to optimize a PACS workstation for the operational
environment of diagnostic reading and reporting. Operational models have been developed, through
interviews with and observations of users at Bowman Gray/Baptist Hospital Medical Center. Duke
University Medical Center. San Francisco VA Medical Center, and Georgetown University Hospital.
Hardware and software designs of the workstation were optimized to match the workstation to those
operational models, including matching the time intervals, and providing easy access to relevant exams
and to historical exams to be used for comparison.