Flexible cloud-based PACS platform for fast and accurate reporting.
Synergy Radiology Associates is Houston’s premier radiology team, comprised of more than 75 Board Certified Radiologists and one of the fastest growing radiology groups in the county. We sat down with J. Armando Saenz, M.D. to discuss how the flexibility of PICOM365.com, ScImage’s cloud-based PACS has supported Synergy’s vision for growth and patient care.
Why did you select ScImage’s PICOM365 cloud-based PACS?
With more than 75 radiologists, Synergy provides radiology reading capabilities for more than 100 sites. We serve different facilities with varying needs, some have no PACS of their own, others have systems already in place but they need a quality radiology group to be plugged into their workflow. The robust capabilities of the PICOM365.com architecture give us the flexibility to have arrangements that meet the technology and workflow needs for clients of varying sizes.
Most of our clients are cloud-based, but one of our major clients requires a physical server at each facility. Ultimately, our vision is to have workflow in which radiologists can use a single platform with one window, or at least one monitor – a way to easily look at the worklist and manage the list without necessitating too many monitors or steps, and allows control in terms of how and where the studies are routed.
How does the flexibility of ScImage’s cloud-based PACS help you serve your clients’ needs?
ScImage worked with us to create a master worklist that tied our workflow with other clients and facilities. This included revamping the radiology reading dashboard to create a second worklist for the on-premise exams, giving radiologists two windows on the same screen to watch the different server environments. On our end, our radiologists log into one worklist and are able to see everything they need. We have tags that allow us to know where the studies are coming from but they all show up on one work list, and one system. It has been working well.
The flexibility to use both cloud and physical servers is further enhanced by custom filters to manage which studies go to which rads. As a result, when a radiologist logs in, they only see the studies they need to read, giving us the ability to handle various facilities with different credentialing makeups.
How does ScImage’s PicomSentry Help Support Growth?
Overall, ScImage has supported our growth because it is a very robust system, it is easy to implement, and helps us keep up with, and accommodate client demands. Because we serve so many different facilities with varying system needs, a quick and easy implementation is critical to get plugged into their workflow.
As we bring on new sites, we’ve started deploying ScImage’s PicomSentry, a preconfigured security appliance that enables users to utilize ScImage’s PICOM365 Enterprise PACS with plug and play convenience. Whether a facility has an existing solution or no imaging system place, PicomSentry provides immediate back-end interoperability and they’re up and running with a robust system. It provides our customer with options to leverage the PACS they have already invested or start a sophisticated image management solution. It’s quick and easy, and we can get a site up and running in weeks, not months – it’s one of the fastest implementations in the industry.
Why is the speed of report turn-around time important?
In addition to patient experience, speed and accuracy are critical to the delivery of high quality medicine in the ER setting. Accuracy is a given, we have a process to maintain accuracy and our error rate is well below the national standard. So, why does speed matter? It matters because when the report takes longer, the clinician is waiting – and even, more importantly, the patient is waiting.
We’re very proud that Synergy is able to consistently deliver some of the fastest report turn-around times in the country. That is one of the most important reasons we’ve implemented PICOM365 by ScImage. We did not want exams being sent from server to server or from server to cloud which is going to add time, and therefore, impact the final turn-around time. Speed, accuracy and quality are not only the keys to good patient care, but they are critical to our ongoing success and growth.Download PDF
Enhancing the physician experience and improving patient care.
Founded in 1997, Foothill Cardiology focuses on providing high quality, comprehensive cardiovascular care to patients, their families and the community, within a compassionate and service-oriented environment.
Foothill Cardiology/California Heart Medical Group is Southern California, San Gabriel Valley’s Largest Cardiovascular Practice with 15 board certified cardiologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Services range from routine cholesterol reduction program to EP Studies, Invasive Coronary Procedures, Structural Heart program, Vascular Services, Nuclear Imaging, and Clinical Research.
Foothill Cardiology, a long time NextGen user, utilized an imaging and reporting solution that was hosted onsite and had limited remote capabilities and limited editing of Structured Reports. Looking for an integrated PACS solution capable of supporting an image-enabled EHR, Foothill Cardiology was introduced to ScImage at a NextGen Users Conference.
ScImage was able to provide Foothill Cardiology with a comprehensive and robust Hosted Solution that fulfilled the vision of minimal onsite service with a completely remote diagnostic venue for reading and reporting all of their exams, including Echo, Vascular, and Nuclear Images.
According to John Gonzalez, Operations Manager, Foothill Cardiology, ScImage was selected to address these needs due to their innovative software approach, flexible architecture, enterprise Web-Based offering and the company’s willingness and ability to accommodate our specific requirements. “It was really the functionality of the PICOM365 Cloud solution and the ability to integrate with our NextGen EMR. The way that it integrates with the order management process is something that I’ve never seen from any other PACS,” added Gonzalez.
In addition to serving its own patients at three locations, Foothill Cardiology supports six regional hospitals. Secure Cloud-based image sharing capabilities and interoperability built into the ScImage platform, enable Foothill Cardiology to upload and interpret diagnostic cardiovascular studies on patients performed at other facilities and largely eliminate CDs for patients that come from outside referrals. “However, in cases where the patients are sent with image CDs, we can upload them to PICOM365. Not only does this give us a permanent record which can be viewed throughout the treatment process, it is much more efficient than having to hunt for CDs every time someone wants to view the images,” said Alex Durairaj, M.D., FACC, President, Foothill Cardiology.
“Anywhere access has been tremendously helpful – both from a viewing and a reporting standpoint. When I’m at a remote site, it’s nice to be able to see the study and not have to call someone to send it to you manually,” said Dr. Durairaj, who also attributes better workforce management to anywhere access. “Not only does this free our clinicians from being tied to one location to read, but when one office is busy, clinicians from another office can pick up the slack by reading studies from the centralized worklist to maintain proper report turn-around times. This flexibility improves our efficiency with no interruption to workflow and helps me better manage staff utilization.”
ScImage’s high availability PICOM365 Cloud solution delivers constant security and encryption enhancements to balance the need to safeguard Foothill Cardiology’s data with the need for easy and consistent access.
“Web-based is absolutely the way to go,” said Gonzalez. “We had Cloud capabilities before partnering with ScImage; however, service for the onsite server and applications needed to be managed daily by internal staff as well as a contracted IT company, increasing costs and decreasing efficiency. Leveraging Microsoft Azure technologies, ScImage adds a layer of security and protection that we may not have been able to accomplish in-house. This helps ensure that our data is protected, private and HIPAA compliant,”
Integrating ScImage’s PICOM365 Enterprise PACS with native EHR information improves clinical collaboration. ScImage’s open SQL database maintains the quality and liquidity of images and patient data in its native format to access, run reports, pull priors, and customize pre-fetching rules. With optimized structured reporting, the open database also provides the ability for Foothill to explore data-mining and analytics capabilities.
Foothill Cardiology and ScImage have continued to work together to enhance the physician experience and improve patient care through technology and collaboration. ScImage has a close working relationship with the both the clinical and IT department and continues to have regular meetings to stay abreast of the latest technology and ever-evolving clinical requirements that a world class institution such as Foothill Cardiology encounters.Download PDF