Benefits of Well Designed Monitor and Computer Mounts in Dental Settings

Wall mounted computer workstation in a patient room. Well designed, ergonomic mounting arms improve efficiency and enhance caregiver comfort and safety.
Wall mounted computer workstation in a patient room. Well designed, ergonomic mounting arms improve efficiency and enhance caregiver comfort and safety.

The need for better monitor and computer mounting solutions

There has been a dramatic increase in the need for correct monitor and computer mounting systems in dental settings. Placing a monitor and keyboard on a counter or shelf is no longer acceptable for the following reasons:

  • Computer use and MSDs. Awareness of the relationship between increased computer use and Muskuloskeletal Disorders (MSDs) in dental environments has brought proper ergonomics to the forefront when selecting computer mounting systems.
  • Limited space. The growing use of computers, monitors and supply carts has created space restriction problems.
  • Meeting patient needs. Whether entertaining patients or presenting them with information, one static location for a monitor or TV will not meet the needs of every patient.

The importance of proper ergonomics

With better knowledge of workplace-related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back, neck and shoulder pain, dental managers are recognizing the need to provide ergonomically correct workplaces for their staff. The simple definition of ergonomics is the adaptation of the workplace to the worker. Mounting systems need to adapt equipment to the people who use it.

Because people’s physical proportions vary considerably, mounting systems need to easily adjust for each caregiver. Administrative and patient care tasks are handled more safely and efficiently with ergonomically designed computer and monitor mounts. Proper ergonomics can also save money through fewer missed days due to injury and increased productivity because employees are comfortable in their work environment.

Considerations for space-constrained environments

Often the first question that comes to mind before the purchase of a computer or monitor mounting system is, “Where will we put it?” In dental environments, space is a valuable commodity. In an administrative or IT area, if a keyboard is placed at the edge of the table and a monitor behind the keyboard, the actual usable workspace has been greatly reduced. In some instances a second or third monitor is needed, compounding the problem.

In dental operatories, every square inch of floor and desk space has been allocated for equipment and tasks. Stowable mounting solutions provide complete workstations that mount in minimal space and fold up and out of the way when not in use. Desk and floor space remain clear.

Wall mounted computer workstation and ceiling mounted monitor improve efficiency in a healthcare setting
Wall mounted computer workstation and ceiling mounted monitor improve efficiency in a healthcare setting.

Wall mounted monitor in a dental operatory makes it easier to share images with the patient
Wall mounted monitor in a dental operatory makes it easier to share images with the patient.

Adjustable mounting arms can enhance patient care

Articulating monitor mounts in dental settings enable staff to easily share information with patients. Appropriately selected monitor and computer mounting solutions can improve caregiver efficiency by streamlining workflow and maximizing the area they have to do their work.

Ergonomically designed mounting solutions increase the comfort, health and safety of staff in clinic areas, administrative areas and operatories.

A monitor mounted to an adjustable arm makes it easy for a patient to enjoy television in a waiting area. An extendable monitor arm can enable staff to use the monitor to educate a patient about a treatment or help him/her view x-rays from the chair. This mounting system makes it easier to engage a patient in the treatment process. The same mounting system can then lift the monitor high enough to be used by colleagues to discuss treatment plans.

Finding the right mounting solution

There are many monitor and computer mounting arms and stands on the market designed for an array of applications in dental environments. It’s important to know exactly what mounting solution will match facility and staff needs. The following are points to keep in mind when looking for a mounting system.

  • Adaptability. Present needs may change in the future. Find a system that is designed with this in mind. Ask, “How easy will it be to add a keyboard to this monitor mount in the future? Will it be necessary to buy a completely new system or can this one be upgraded?”
  • Adjustability. The monitor and/or computer mount should be designed to adjust easily by the people who will use it every day. Ask, “Can staff easily adjust the height and position of this mount?” In the case of an articulating mounting arm, think of the farthest point it will be required to reach. “Will this arm extend to where it is needed?”
  • Compatibility. There are compatibility standards set forth by VESA, the Video Electronics Standard Association, that determine how a flat panel monitor can be mounted. Be sure to find a mounting interface that’s VESA compliant and compatible with the monitor. Also keep in mind the weight of the equipment that will be mounted and choose a mounting system that meets the load capacity.
  • Quality. Find out how the monitor and computer mounts under consideration have been engineered and manufactured. Ask, “Is the mounting system designed to be durable? Is the mount built to last at least as long as the equipment that is mounted on it? Is this system safe to extend above and over a patient? What kind of finish does it have? Will the finish fade or chip after frequent cleaning? Will the manufacturer stand behind this product?”

The right monitor and computer mounting system can transform a dental practice. It can enrich the experience of patients and create a safer, more efficient workplace for employees.

Michael Finch
ICWUSA.com, Inc.

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