Campbell County Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital in Gillette, Wyoming, and the centerpiece of the Campbell County Health healthcare system. Like Gillette—a city that saw its total population jump by nearly 40 percent from 2000 to 2010—Campbell County Memorial Hospital has seen significant growth in recent years, opening a cath lab and enhancing its radiology department with new imaging equipment.
Despite these massive steps forward, something was holding back the physicians, specialists, and staff at Campbell County Memorial Hospital and affiliates: inadequate enterprise imaging solutions. To address this glaring need, Campbell County Health purchased Fujifilm’s Enterprise Imaging solutions in March 2016: Synapse 5 PACS, the company’s latest Radiology PACS solution, Synapse VNA, Synapse RIS, Synapse Cardiovascular PACS, Synapse 3D and Synapse Mobility Enterprise Viewer.
“We had been using our legacy systems for about 14 years before we brought in these Fujifilm solutions,” says Shannon Frederick, PACS administrator for Campbell County Health. “The hospital and the services we provided were very different back then. The older systems just couldn’t keep up anymore.”
Frederick adds that they weren’t even looking at bringing in so many solutions at once from the same vendor—it just happened that way. “We knew we needed new solutions for cardiology and radiology,” Frederick says. “And they didn’t have to be from the same vendor, but that idea was certainly very appealing to us. Fortunately, Fujifilm was able to offer us a complete fix to our problems.”
An Across-the-Board Upgrade
Bringing in these solutions was a true game-changer for Campbell County Health. The pain points of the past are ancient history while patients receive faster, smarter, safer care than ever before. For example in the past, when transferring patients to other hospitals they had to rely heavily on VPNs, Frederick says, but the VPNs would go down or other technical issues would come up. Now patients can be transferred without hesitation.
“The Synapse Mobility Enterprise Viewer has provided an additional resource for patient transfers and referrals,” Frederick says. “It allows us to collaborate with physicians at other hospitals and determine if we’re going to transfer the patient to that specific hospital or if we need to turn to another one.”
Patient ID numbers were another pain point for Campbell County Health employees in the old days. Different programs would give patients different ID numbers, and the system’s legacy equipment couldn’t sort it out. Fujifilm’s solutions are all designed to work with such issues in a simple, straightforward manner. “We can easily manage primary and secondary ID numbers now when necessary,” Frederick says. “We don’t have to scramble to line up each patient anymore. It’s a huge relief.”
Yet another clear benefit of purchasing and installing six different Fujifilm solutions at once is the improved interoperability. Frederick says the way everything works together has “definitely been an advantage” of upgrading to Fujifilm.
“We love how everything is connected now,” Frederick says. “Synapse Cardiovascular and Synapse PACS work really well together. A user in the cardiology system is able to easily see radiology records and can view, say, a CT scan or an x-ray right away. ”Troubleshooting is also much easier now. When a user wants to dig down and investigate an issue, it’s so much easier when everything is made by the same vendor. Even something like tweaking a workflow or making a minor adjustment to a report, Frederick says, takes much less time than it did in the past.
Another significant advantage of the upgrade is that the Radiology Department is finally able to go forward with offering digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) to patients. Campbell County Health’s legacy system couldn’t support DBT image types or protocols, so the facility had held back on bringing in the new modality. But once Fujifilm’s Synapse 5 PACS was up and running, management approved the installation of brand new mammography systems that will be able to perform DBT.
This, Frederick says, highlights the biggest overall benefit of bringing in Fujifilm’s enterprise imaging solutions: it helps them provide better care to patients. Especially in a more rural area such as Gillette, where patients face a two-hour drive if they want to seek treatment at another large hospital, it’s crucial that Campbell County Memorial Hospital provide the best care possible.
“There are other imaging providers in the community, but they don’t offer a full line of services,” Frederick explains. “It’s incredibly important for us to be here for patients from Gillette and from the surrounding area. It’s a huge benefit for the entire community. Patients don’t have to drive far away to get these services done, and referring physicians don’t always have to wait for discs to come through the mail—they can confidently send their patients to us.”
High-Quality Training and Customer Service
Frederick says Fujifilm ensured that the installation and implementation of their solutions went remarkably well. Campbell County Health worked with two representatives—a primary project manager and a project engineer—for the entire process and “those two knew every nook and cranny of our system.” “Since we were bringing in so many new solutions at once, it was nice to have those two primary people we could work with and coordinate everything through as things moved forward,” she adds.
Frederick adds that some members of her team were concerned about training on these brand new solutions after spending so many years with their legacy equipment. However, once it was actually time to train on each solution, Fujifilm’s representatives took things slowly and guided them each step of the way.
“One thing I appreciated about the training process was that Fujifilm’s representatives all had a lot of experience with these systems,” Frederick adds. “They understood what we were looking for in an ideal workflow and they were able to help us make changes here and there to improve things when necessary. That was really huge for us.”
Of course, the solutions are still relatively new and challenges or questions do still come up from time to time. And when that happens, Fujifilm is always ready to step up and help. The installation may seem like a time in the past, but the relationship between vendor and healthcare provider remains strong.
“Fujifilm has been great about helping us right away, no matter which solution it was we were asking about,” Frederick says. “They were there for us from the beginning to the end of implementation, and they’re still there for us now.”