A tale of two kinds of RIS solutions

A tale of two kinds of RIS solutions

February 03, 2020
Health IT
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

These groups of buyers may or may not need support for academic workflows, like resident-attending read-out or teaching files, common at large enterprises.

The capability to exchange information with the healthcare provider organizations they serve, and provide tools to imaging centers they support, is critical for them. Now, more than ever, they need platforms that can provide interfaces and integrations for interoperability of data. And they need to be able to develop solutions themselves, without relying on a centralized (and often bureaucratic) IT team or a vendor professional services engagement.


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Non-EMR RIS solutions include independent applications, as well as ones provided by traditional PACS vendors. These may be developed in-house, added through acquisition, or licensed through a partnership (sometimes varying by region). In some cases, only specific modules, like critical results management or external order exchange apps, are provided. In other cases, the solution is made up of several integrated third-party applications.

For reading groups covering multiple healthcare provider organizations, RIS or RIS-module solutions that can orchestrate the movement of DICOM data from one system to another can be of high value. For example, using order information to move current and relevant prior imaging exam data from one or more PACS into the PACS used for reading.

While there are solutions for this non-healthcare provider enterprise market, organizations often report that their healthcare provider client is unwilling to provide the necessary information through interfaces. Instead, they sometimes insist that the radiologist use the healthcare provider’s PACS, reporting solution, and EMR to do their work. This can result in the radiologist having to use (and be productive with) several different systems. The logistics of putting a different workstation for each client in a reading room is often not practical. Not to mention the cost and effort to establish secure network connections (that meet all organizations’ information security policies) across enterprises.

The imminent mandate to use clinical decision support (CDS) for some procedures, and the risk to revenue — for organizations that perform the exam and to income for physicians who read exams without providing evidence that a qualified CDS system was used — adds even more complexity. Organizations that provide solutions that put the least amount of impact and disruption on referring physicians may get additional outpatient exam volumes.

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