16 October 2017
Reporting backlogs are growing and radiology departments are starting to buckle under the strain of a critical shortage of radiologists, increasing demand including 7-day service and continued budgetary challenges. Working in close partnership with UK PACS customers, the Fujifilm Synapse team has developed a practical and efficient home reporting solution to tackle this UK-wide problem.
The team wanted to tackle some of the most common issues with home reporting. To counter the problem of reduced network coverage in the home a unique data compression algorithm was developed to speed up image access over slow networks. Synapse PACS also allows radiologists to utilise folder subscription as a mechanism for initiating the pre-caching of pixel data on the home reporting workstation, thus allowing fast scrolling of multi-slice studies. Finally the importance of a consistent look and feel between the home and the hospital reporting systems was recognised. The Synapse web-based viewer provides an exact duplication of the reporting environment in the home, enabling radiologists to replicate their hospital reporting settings including user profile and preferences. Radiologists can access the full range of reporting workflows, image manipulation tools and voice recognition.
The latest installation is now operational at Cwm Taf University Health Board and is already recognised by radiologists there as a key tool to delivering a sustainable and cost effective improvement in service. “Innovative solutions such as Home Reporting are an effective and practical way of delivering an increase in reporting capacity, whilst at the same time offering working flexibility to radiologists” said Dr Balan Palaniappan, Clinical Director. “In my view, the Home Reporting solution could transform how we work as radiologists. The increased productivity, cost savings and flexibility that Home Reporting offers will be vital to us at Cwm Taf as we embark on new ventures such as The Diagnostics Hub, Early Cancer Diagnosis Pathway Development and supporting the new Radiology Academy in Wales.”
Dr Neelan Dugar, Consultant Radiologist at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Informatics Advisor for the Royal College of Radiologists and Synapse PACS user since 2013, has been highlighting the issue of radiologist shortages for a number of years. “NHS patients are suffering due to huge radiology reporting backlogs. Improving PACS technology, with better network speeds and the reducing costs of diagnostic monitors makes home reporting easily achievable and is a cost effective way of reducing reporting backlogs. It is a better option than outsourced teleradiology as local radiologists who are known to clinicians can report on exams, and also allows radiologists reporting from home to have full access to the patient’s complete imaging history (images and reports), as well as access to blood results, histopathology results etc. This is a cost effective solution to the NHS’ reporting backlog crisis.”
Photo credits L to R: Paul Newman – Medical Informatics Sales Specialist, Fujifilm and Dr Balan Palaniappan - Clinical Director, Cwm Taf University Health Board
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