What is RIS in Radiology?
A Radiology Information System (RIS) is a software system that is used to efficiently manage the process of obtaining, storing and sharing medical imagery in a healthcare context. A RIS is most commonly used in conjunction with PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) to track images, manage image archives, improve record-keeping and streamline other administrative tasks that occur as a result of radiology operations.
The need for a digitised system
Until not so long ago, radiological images were turned into expensive physical plates for examination. These physical copies were a barrier to scalability and took time to be developed. With the use of a RIS System, images can now be evaluated by several specialists simultaneously and almost instantly.
RIS was specially designed for use in complex radiological facilities and was developed in response to changing healthcare needs. There is increased pressure on healthcare services due to increased demand, systems that can facilitate care and increase efficiency are paramount to improved care. With excellent interaction and connectivity, RIS is also a sustainable and affordable solution that should be at the heart of any radiology department.
Which departments use RIS systems?
RIS systems can centralise medical images of different types and origins. These include conventional radiology, CT, and ultrasound, as well as images from patients’ MRIs, and pathology. The integrated reporting and charting enables physicians to access extensive, customer-specific statistics and history.
What does a RIS system do?
The basic functions of a RIS are as follows:
- Image storage, monitoring, and distribution: A RIS system will store each of the radiological images, with its respective report, tracking the entire workflow from start to finish and allowing authorised healthcare professionals to access the data when they need it.
- Patient and resource management: From admission to diagnosis and eventually discharging a patient, a RIS system is continually updated, providing accessible and actionable information at each stage and helping to digitise the patient history. Based on this data, a healthcare professional can quickly analyse the history of the patient in order to arrange future care.
- Input and output of results: The digitisation of all documents helps to improve the distribution of information including, reducing waiting times, and improving communication between doctors. It also aids in obtaining a faster and more accurate diagnosis. All results are reported digitally and can be easily sent via email or instant message. There is also the option of being able to print when required.
Reduce expenditure: The financial savings could be significant with a RIS system. Costs are reduced because of the faster processing of medical images as well as the reduction in paper usage. It allows less scope for human error and therefore allows a higher number of patients to be treated simultaneously. It complements the work of all areas of radiology to have a smooth-running system running, consistently.
Further benefits of RIS
The further benefits to note include:
- Increased radiology workflow efficiency
- Fewer medical errors
- More accurate diagnosis
- Optimisation of all work processes
- Quality improvement through extensive documentation, predefined work processes, and examination parameters
- Time and cost savings through accelerated work processes, personnel time savings.
- User-related, freely configurable interfaces, and work lists
- Standardising processes
- Simple, clear operation through the familiar Windows interface
- Extensive user administration guarantees the protection of sensitive data
- Excellent interaction with other information systems such as HIS or PACS
The benefit that RIS technology provides, above all, is efficiency across all radiology and medical imaging processes. This translates into less time wastage, greater precision, and fewer resources involved. A good RIS system is reliable, trustworthy, and secure, which are all vital components for a safe and efficient radiology department. Find out more about our Radiology information system here.