A Radiological Information System (RIS) is a networked software system for managing medical imagery and associated data. It is especially useful for radiology imaging orders and billing information. It is majorly used in conjunction with PACS and VNAs to keep track of records and billing.
It complements HIS and PACS and is an important workflow to radiology practices. The basic features of the Radiological Information System are managing the patient list, result entry, document scanning, digital reporting, and more.
RIS records when patients arrive and their examinations become ready for interpretation. It stores textual information for patients and can be integrated with HIS.
Let us understand the advanced features and functions of RIS.
What is a Radiological Information System (RIS)?
It is a kind of radiology software solution for managing medical imaging data. Similar to the Hospital Information System
(HIS), it is adapted specifically for radiology departments and automates data management. This term is used with PACS and describes a type of medical IT system used within radiology departments. It optimizes the imaging process by various functions involved in one comprehensive system.
RIS improves the streamlining process and features a long term option for the management of patient information. RICS and PACS act as two complementary systems and are integrated into most radiology clinics.
The first RISs were developed in the 1960s and focused on improving radiologist efficiency in two core problem areas. In the mid-1970s, RISs continued to become more reliable and incorporated more robust programming and database applications.
In 1980, several private hospitals and universities formed the Radiology Information Systems Consortium (RISC) to develop requirements for an improved RIS and to request a proposal for commercial entities to build this system. It guided the development of features of RIS through the mid-1980s and helped to foster the DECrad user’s group. The RISC later became the society of imaging informatics in medicine.
Basic Functions of Radiological Information System (RIS)
1. Patient Management
It can track a patient’s workflow within the radiology department. Furthermore, it can add images and reports to EHR
s where they can be viewed by authorized radiology staff. It facilitates patient management as processes like patient registration, scheduling, and Patient Tracking is digitized.
Also, the time needed for organizing schedules is reduced by eliminating the need for paper-based documentation. Next, booking appointments becomes less-time consuming.
2. Scheduling and Sharing
Radiological Information System (RIS) allows staff to make appointments for patients and other people. It enables the distribution of patient data and medical images. The interaction between physicians is made easier by allowing access to documents within the computer system.
3. Patient Tracking
With the RIS system, providers can easily track patients’ radiology history from admission to discharge and coordinate with past and future appointments.
4. Image Tracking and Billing
Radiology providers use RIS to track the patient’s associated data. Like EHRs have become a standard to use in the healthcare sector, PACS is widely adopted in the medical enterprise. RIS provides a detailed financial report of automated claims and electronic payments.
Also, the staff doesn’t have to spend time working on the calculator and phone for billing. With RIS, everything is computerized, and anything can be done with less processing time.
Importance of Radiological Information System (RIS)
Several hospitals are upgrading their infrastructure and using digital technologies for better patient delivery. Radiology departments are incorporating the use of analytics through innovative RIS platforms.
Let us know why RIS holds significance in the healthcare field.
1. Workflow management
The majority of radiologists agree that PACS alone cannot manage the address workflow issues and other supplies in real-time. Today, if a patient is waiting too long for a doctor’s visit, RIS can alert the doctor about the patient’s waiting time.
With RIS, you can check patients’ records throughout the establishment. Instead of depending on the telephone, RIS allows data to be seen uniformly throughout the infrastructure.
2. Patient Scheduling and Entry
The Hospital Information System (HIS) manages patient scheduling, entry, and registration. With the smarter RIS, the hospitals are using a single interface to handle patient-related workflows and reduce costs.
3. Booking and Scheduling
RIS is extremely beneficial in cases where a clinician requests a single imaging service request. The system not only helps to group the procedures using a single entry but also provides real-time visibility.
4. Report Distribution
The major feature of the radiological information system is report dissemination. The patient report is shared in different ways, including fax, email, and post. Also, the RIS system stores physicians’ data in a central database and keeps track of records when required.
5. Digital Reporting
Today, in the digitizing world, you can save a lot in comparison to the age of paper. Several errors occur when you manually do work. With RIS, fewer errors occur, and the information is recorded immediately.
Nowadays, the majority of paper-work is replaced by electronic processes. The information of each patient is stored electronically and thus minimizes paper-work. Therefore, IT support also becomes robust.
The Future of RIS and Questions to Be Addressed
The Radiology Information System (RIS) plays a crucial role in the electronic management of imaging departments. It is the basic information system across the healthcare system and includes major functions of examination, performance tracking, and procedure billing.
In the healthcare organization, several functions of RIS have moved to enterprise EMR (electronic medical records). Therefore, some of the observers are finding the future of RIS to be uncertain.
So what are the ways to ensure the relevance of the Radiological Information System in the coming years? Here are a few important points that should be addressed to brighten RIS’s future.
1. Experts Feedback
Expert insight into the workflow is important for the RIS aspects that they interact with. A person who focuses only on radiologists during the implementation of the RIS system knows he won’t be only accepted because he understands the features and function of the devices.
2. Big Data Analytics in Healthcare
Most of RIS’s information is unique to a particular healthcare organization. The radiologists can use the information to stay relevant and to improve the business process.
3. Clinical Decision Support
RIS based tools are becoming available which can improve patient management
while optimizing resource utilization. Real-time search functionality allows radiologists to browse through hundreds of photo files to make a better decision. Here is the significance of the CDS system
and its impact on the healthcare system.
4. Electronic Medical Records and Digital Dashboards
It can be expected to see radiology dashboards moving towards the real-time goals, which can be used to manage operational corrections. The dashboard ensures increased transparency and fewer interruptions for efficiency.
Benefits of Radiological Information System (RIS)
It takes a lot of dedication to run a radiology practice. RIS collects images throughout the diagnosis and treatment and stores the data of radiology patients. Let us know RIS benefits in the healthcare system.
1. Exceptional Material Management
Material management is time-consuming and sometimes inaccurate if you have a paper-based system. Having RIS allows the physicians and staff to see everything when needed and what to order next. Knowing the surpluses offer greater control over the budget.
2. Enhances Efficiency
Radiological Information System (RIS) allows staff to eliminate errors and redundancy found in the patient’s record at the time of registration. The staff can make the best use of time and also makes scheduling easier. It lets you set initial consultations and follow-up appointments.
3. Saves Money and Boosts Revenue
The RIS increases revenue by partly reducing the turnaround time for reports. The faster you provide documents to providers, the shorter the revenue cycle will be. It also reduces missed appointments and makes it easier to monitor outstanding services.
4. Better Patient Coordination and Care
With digitization, coordinating patients’ information becomes easier. The accuracy of data entry increases the rate of correct diagnoses and gives you the time to focus on more patients. Later, you can also share details with the patient’s doctor or specialists.
Running a radiology practice requires time and attention. Practices that depend on paper-based systems to maintain patients’ files are at an advantage in comparison to competitive radiology practices that are using technology in the form of RIS.
RIS is a database system that healthcare professionals use to keep track of images generated during the treatment. It is a kind of EHR system designed for use in radiology.
RIS is not PACS and does not promote long term management of patient medical records. It promotes a better workflow for staff and patients. Also, it can be customized according to the solution that is best for the healthcare organization.
We, at Covetus, offer many health-care IT solutions, including healthcare product engineering, offer expertise in a wide range of medical standards such as DICOM
, ICD-9, ICD-10
, and more. We build customer-centric solutions to empower healthcare providers.