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Radiology Information System (RIS)

What is a Radiology Information System (RIS)?

RIS is a type of radiology software solution for storing and managing medical imaging data. Just like a hospital information system (HIS), it automates data management, but is adapted specifically for radiology departments. RIS optimizes the imaging process by integrating the various functions involved in managing patient information into one comprehensive system.

RIS is a term often used with other terms such as PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) to describe a type of medical IT system used within radiology departments. Since it is applied within the same field as PACS and often used in conjunction with it, the question might pose itself – what is RIS exactly and what differentiates it from PACS?

While RIS improves workflow and streamlines processes, systems such as PACS provide storage and a long-term option for the management of patient information. PACS also provides features and tools for advanced image manipulation. RIS and PACS, therefore, act as two complementary systems and are integrated in most radiology clinics.


Main features of RIS

The most common features of an RIS system include:


  • Storing – Stores images obtained from RIS imaging devices and any other relevant patient information on the database.

  • Image Tracking – RIS enables keeping track of images obtained from medical imaging devices and related patient data.

  • Sharing – Enables distribution of medical images and patient data. Collaboration between physicians is facilitated by enabling access to documents to anyone within the computer network when RIS is integrated with a local software solution, or to anyone with internet access when RIS is integrated with a cloud-based solution such as PostDICOM.

  • Patient Management – Significantly facilitates patient management as processes such as patient registration and scheduling are digitized. The amount of time needed for patient registration and organizing schedules is greatly reduced by eliminating the need for paper-based documentation. Booking appointments is made much simpler and much less time-consuming.

  • Patient Tracking – Keeping track of the patient’s treatment through the system is made available. The patient’s complete medical history can be accessed and the patient’s information can be checked for any updates throughout the diagnostic process by logging into the system whenever is necessary. As a result, workflow management is greatly improved.

  • Interactive Documents – RIS systems enable the creation of interactive documents which enhances communication between physicians and facilitates diagnosis.

  • Results Entry and Distribution – Results are reported digitally but functions for paper-based exporting are included. Medical reports can be swiftly and easily emailed or faxed. The RIS system can create statistic reports for specific procedures, individual patients, or patient groups.

  • Procedure Billing – The system can store financial records, process electronic payments, and automate billing.

  • Resource Management – The management of materials is facilitated as information on supply requirements is readily accessible and organized for a more efficient way of managing the budget allocated for supply demand.


Benefits of RIS

The many functions of RIS all work together to provide a more reliable, faster system for working with patient information. The diagnostic process is improved, errors in data entry significantly diminished, staff efficiency improved, and staff shortages mitigated.

Another benefit that a computerized system like RIS provides is that it enables practices to focus more of their efforts around patient care. The time saved with reduced paperwork and the streamlining of a number of operations can be devoted to offering a more comprehensive system of services for patients. Decentralized work environments which are made possible by RIS imaging accelerate the work of physicians and enhance communication between them, leading to improved diagnosis.

All administrative processes are made simpler and less time consuming. Even the management of materials and managing the supply budget can be improved through RIS systems.

RIS enhances the management of workflow through features enabling patient tracking in real time and provides one central source of medical records.

Costs are reduced because of the faster processing of medical images and related data, the reduced number of errors in data entry, and the streamlining of numerous functions. Revenue is increased due to more effective appointment scheduling and faster reporting. In addition to this, radiology practices treating Medicaid or Medicare patients while using certified RIS systems have access to government incentives.

All of these benefits have made RIS critical for efficient workflow of radiology practices. When it comes to integration with other medical software, RIS is able to be integrated with and complements HIS (hospital information systems) and PACS (picture archiving and communication systems).

Medical software systems like RIS and PACS are the contemporary, digital equivalent for paper and film based medical records storage systems. The degree of optimization that they are able to achieve, particularly the significantly improved reliability and time efficiency of these systems, has made them indispensable in modern radiology departments and diagnostic centers. A step further in this optimization process has been made with the development of medical software solutions using cloud computing platforms, with an increasing number of cloud-based PACS systems appearing on the market.

PostDICOM is a leading innovator in this sphere and offers such a system, transferring the storage from on-premises hardware to the cloud, further reducing costs and enhancing the security and accessibility of stored medical information. 50GB of storage is available for free, with the option of expanding the capacity by subscribing to the service.

Our services also include a sophisticated DICOM image viewer, encryption of data for secure viewing and sharing of medical documents, and advanced functions for image processing, diagnosis, and data streaming.

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