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St. Joseph's invests in state-of-the-art radiology technology


Advanced Image and Information System Streamlines Hospital Operations & Enhances Patient Care

St. Joseph's Hospital is pleased to announce that it has recently installed Synapse®, a state-of-the-art, radiology image and information network system that will dramatically streamline hospital operations and enhance patient care. Developed by FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA, Inc., a leader in medical imaging technology, Synapse is a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), that permits the ability to electronically view, transmit and store diagnostic images, such as those generated by Digital Mammography, MRI, nuclear medicine, CT scan, ultrasound and x-ray.

With a PACS, both patients and hospital staff benefit from the numerous advantages of a digital solution, including: overall improved efficiency in the diagnostic and patient care cycles; nearly instant access to diagnostic images and results anywhere; and the elimination of overhead costs associated with managing film. "The benefits we are experiencing with this technology are not only allowing us to do our jobs more effectively and efficiently, but are also allowing our patients to experience improved care and service," stated William Wallace, Administrative Director of St. Joseph's Department of Medical Imaging.

Because diagnostic images are now being stored and viewed electronically, versus the alternative, traditional method of printing films which must be viewed on a light box, St. Joseph's has been able to increase staff efficiency in relation to the retrieval and transportation of the images for diagnosis. Once a diagnostic image has been "captured," the PACS technology enables radiologists to immediately and securely call-up that image on any networked PC and make a diagnosis within seconds. The PACS technology eliminates the lengthy wait times previously necessitated by film development and the need to hand-carry images through the hospital for delivery to the radiologist's office. This efficiency is a significant benefit to patients who now experience shorter waiting times, receive quicker diagnosis, and are on a faster path to necessary treatment.

Patients receive additional diagnostic advantages from the PACS when it is utilized in concert with the hospital's Fuji computed radiography (FCR®) system. With FCR, radiology technologists are able to produce a highly refined digital image that can be enhanced using Synapse's sophisticated image processing tools to reveal medical problems that cannot always be as easily identified when using standard film x-rays.

But perhaps the biggest benefit of the PACS is that Fuji's Synapse is a Web-based technology, enabling members of the patient care team to ultimately view the diagnostic image, via a secure connection, from any designated computer-even a home PC. This means patients can be diagnosed quickly and never need to wait for an on-call physician to arrive. At the same time, simply transmitting the images to off-site radiologists and specialists now easily facilitates joint consultations. "The networking capabilities of the PACS have noticeably impacted our ability to provide patients with immediate, accurate diagnosis," explained Wallace. "Not to mention that the system also contributes to the shorter wait times, and completely eliminates the need for patients to make extra trips to pick-up or drop-off hardcopy films to various medical specialists."

In addition to resulting in enhanced care and improved efficiencies, the Synapse PACS is also bringing St. Joseph's the added convenience and cost savings associated with storage advantages. Because diagnostic images are now archived electronically, valuable hospital space previously allocated to the storage of hard copy films is now available for other uses-such as additional exam rooms. And physicians can now make more efficient use of their time; historical comparative films can now be retrieved and reviewed with the tap a few computer keys, permitting more time with their patients.

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