Fujifilm Synapse PACS was designed to accommodate multiple physical locations with disparate RIS and HIS systems with multiple radiology reading groups across facilities in an enterprise. One medical group that has benefited from Fujifilm Synapse Managed Services is Virginia Urology Associates in Richmond, Va.
Virginia Urology Associates, a preeminent urology practice in the Richmond area, comprises 30 urologists, a radiation oncology group of eight physicians, a pathology department with two physicians, and a radiology imaging group with 1.5 radiologists. With several offices and three Acute Surgical Centers (ASCs) scattered around Richmond and its outskirts, managing to read all CT scans and ultrasounds could become a logistical nightmare, especially if the radiologists live 75 miles away from the office. Matthew Bassignani, MD, director of radiology at Virginia Urology Associates, explained, “We really are a far-flung practice, so you need something that is pretty sophisticated, pretty robust, and pretty user friendly to be able to get the images to the radiologists and the urologists in a timely manner without the physician having to do a lot of the work. The last thing we want to have to be doing is figuring out how to run some of the logical monstrosity to get us the images.”
The Synapse PACS was already in place when Bassignani joined the practice 2 years ago. “It is easy to use. When I came to Virginia Urology, I had to hit the ground running. I was the only radiologist at that time, and so I couldn’t have something slow me down. I didn’t need something that was complicated and hard to learn. I picked up the Synapse and just started going. It is really pretty intuitive,” said Bassignani.
One of the key features of Synapse is Subscription, technology that imports images into predesignated folders with incredible speed. “The Subscription feature is fantastic. I sit down in the morning, before any studies for the day have hit the PACS, I right-click my unread folder, and I click on Subscription,” said Bassignani. This simple action allows Bassignani to subscribe to the folder so that anytime an unread study populates that folder, it immediately goes and gets it from the main server in Richmond, brings it over their secure network to his PC at his office or at home, where he works 2 days a week, and stores it on the hard drive in a cache.
In addition, the Comparisons feature is used regularly. “This folder is populated with patients’ previous CTs and ultrasounds, and the night before, my chief tech plugs in all the patients’ medical record numbers who are being seen the next day, and that populates our Comparisons folder with all their old studies, based on rules that I have written in the past. I can subscribe to that folder, and during the night it goes and gets all those comparison studies and first thing in the morning they are all already there in the Comparisons folder waiting for me and waiting for their new studies to pop up so I can compare,” said Bassignani. “There is no downtime whatsoever. It’s working real-time. Also it hasn’t gone down. And if it does, it’s usually a blink and that is usually because of our network versus the server.”
Other features of Fuji Synapse PACS worth noting include the ability to bookmark images that have been marked by the radiologist, so that physicians can elect to view only the images that are clinically relevant. “The clinicians are busier than us so they need a way to streamline things and that bookmark feature is really very useful,” said Bassignani.
Synapse PACS has become an integral part of this Richmond urology practice. “They [Fuji] really have a focus on customer service. They help you get what you need to get your job done.” So when they added ultrasound to their practice, Virginia Urology Associates didn’t add any new radiologists because it was just so easy to add the images and videos in the PACS. “And so that helped me build the business, in a way, because of its flexibility and because it doesn’t slow me down,” said Bassignani.