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Integration and Functionality Drive RIS Decisions

New KLAS report explores the pros and cons and new energy of acute care, community and ambulatory RIS systems.

OREM, UT, August 24, 2010 ( Radiology Information System (RIS) purchases have often taken a back seat to EMR and PACS decisions. However, new products entering the RIS market and vendors expanding their EMR and PACS client bases with integrated solutions suggest that radiology information systems are taking a renewed priority in purchasing decisions and being included in discussions surrounding meaningful use's electronic information exchange requirements.

According to a recent KLAS report, "RIS in the Middle: The Integration Tug of War", RIS decisions are being pulled in three different directions depending on the facility's priorities: an integrated RIS/EMR strategy where data is housed on a common clinical platform, an integrated RIS/PACS for the imaging department, or a feature rich standalone RIS solution capable of being implemented and interfaced within the existing environment.

Some in radiology believe that an integrated RIS/PACS setup is a silver bullet, marrying integration with end-user functionality. On the other hand, IT administrators push for RIS/EMR solutions in order to build a patient-centric workflow across the organization. Both strategies have pros and cons, and both must still have an interface--either the RIS/PACS to the EMR or the RIS/EMR to the PACS.

"End users may feel they have to sacrifice a certain level of functionality and customization in order to get enterprise integration," said Ben Brown author of the report. "Often operational tools such as scheduling and procedural reporting are strong, but high-end functionality that aids radiologists and administrators with management reporting and analyzing patient information can be lacking."

Community hospitals and ambulatory organizations tend to be a mixed bag of standalone solutions, integrated RIS/PACS, and integrated RIS/EMR. Several RIS vendors have tailored their offerings to the specific needs of this target market. Clinic decisions tend be dominated by the radiology department and lean more towards the PACS/RIS integration with deeper operational functionality for the radiologists.

Sixty-three percent of respondents indicate their RIS has necessary functionality currently, but providers list four key functionality items on their RIS wish list. Included on that list are management reporting tools, flexible scheduling, rollout of promised mammography tools and critical test results management (CTRM) functionality.

Among the twenty-three RIS solutions tracked in the KLAS "RIS in the Middle: The Integration Tug of War" report, Epic Radiant ranked number one for large hospitals (200+ beds) with an overall performance score of 82.0 out of 100. Siemens syngo Workflow and McKesson Radiology Manager ranked second and third, respectively. Avreo interWORKS and NovaRad NovaRIS tied for the highest score (83.3) in the community hospital market segment with GE Centricity RIS-IC taking the third highest ranked position. FUJIFILM Synapse Information System was the highest ranked ambulatory RIS system with an overall score of 87.8, followed by Swearingen Software RISynergy in second place and MedInformatix RIS in third.

For more information about the RIS market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, "RIS in the Middle: The Integration Tug of War" is available to health care providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, health care providers and vendors can visit

KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of health care vendors. KLAS' mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our health care provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from over 4500 hospitals and over 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to, email, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.


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[] Integration and Functionality Drive RIS Decisions
New KLAS report explores the pros and cons and new energy of acute care, community and ambulatory RIS systems. is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
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