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What will the right RIS system bring to your imaging department?

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 18, 2019
Health IT
From the January/February 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

RIS solutions should offer flexibility for business models such as subscription-based pricing and the re-sharing of contracts, as well as architecture, in terms of hybrid approaches and the ability to use it with the public cloud.

Tse'ela Mida
“You need to verify that RIS is flexible enough to accommodate both your current needs today, as well as the potential growth in size and scale and the extension of other functionalities in the future,” said Tse’ela Mida, worldwide product line manager for RIS and Information Systems at Carestream Health. "Don’t just look at what you have or what you need today. Look at what you need five or ten years from now and make sure your RIS solution can address your growing needs.”

The RIS systems of tomorrow
Providers today are turning away from multi-vendor environments and are more and more looking for single vendor solutions, while developers and manufacturers are looking to capitalize on emerging technologies to expand the sharing of vital information for their customers.

Though considered still far off, one specific area of interest is adoption of the cloud, with many large providers currently operating on a private cloud model from their own center, or even their own cloud. “The primary copy of the image is still stored on-site. We do expect that to gradually transition to public cloud over time, but not for a while,” said Holloway. “Once you see the big EHR vendors shift toward public cloud, systems like RIS or broader radiology will follow suit.”

He foresees RIS continuing to transition away from stand-alone to embedded, best-of-breed functionalities that are part of a broader radiology platform or one central operational system.

“Worklist and scheduling will be the basis of that, but I think you’ll be seeing the addition of operational tools and business intelligence for radiology practice management being embedded,” said Holloway. “This will address many of the operational challenges facing radiology practices and help embed functions – regulatory, dose monitoring, staff quality and audit, utilization, dashboarding, service contracts – within one central operational system.”

Bronsky agrees, but sees RIS not just as a system for the radiology department five or ten years down the line but one for many parts of the hospital enterprise. “I think we’ll see it more commonly used in cardiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, pathology and other areas, providing the same functions that radiologists have been using for the past decade.”

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