KLAS ranks RIS vendors; market needs "truly integrated" RIS/PACS
Despite years of vendor announcements and market rhetoric about the virtues of a solution that combines PACS and RIS technology, few vendors have delivered an integrated, full-featured RIS/PACS, according to a report from KLAS. The market research firm also ranks current RIS vendors based on surveys collected from providers.

In the report, The Revival of RIS, KLAS profiles the renewed interest among healthcare providers in RIS technology and looks at the efforts of several major healthcare IT companies to deliver a combined RIS/PACS offering, which would blend the imaging capacity of a PACS product with the patent-centric workflow and reporting available in the RIS. Among other findings, the report concluded that few vendors today are providing a truly integrated solution.

“GE, Fujifilm, Carestream, McKesson, Agfa and Philips have all announced and are pursuing plans for a combined RIS/PACS solution, but few have demonstrated any real progress,” said report author Ben Brown, KLAS research director.

“In the large hospital market, Siemens has achieved modest success with the integration of syngo Workflow and syngo Imaging, while Cerner is also starting to make headway,” Brown said. “Many other vendors have articulated a strategy for combining the two technologies, but do not yet have enough live clients to validate their solutions.”

Among community hospitals and outpatient organizations, KLAS said that a number of vendors market RIS/PACS solutions, but many of those offerings only deliver limited RIS functionality, without extensive billing, managerial or reporting features.

Among the RIS vendors rated in the KLAS report, Epic Radiant was ranked number one for large hospitals (200+ beds) with an overall performance score of 84.3 out of 100. Siemens syngo Workflow and GE Centricity RIS-IC were ranked second and third, respectively.

NovaRad NovaRIS (81.9) was the top-ranked product for community hospitals, followed by Siemens syngo Workflow and Meditech C/S ITS.

For outpatient facilities, Avreo interWORKS interFLOW (88.7) took the top spot, followed by InStar Systems RIS and Fujifilm (Empiric).

The new report also underscored a renewed interest in the RIS, as more healthcare providers embrace a patient-centric approach to medical imaging. Now that many hospitals and imaging centers have settled on a PACS strategy, the modernization of the RIS has become a priority. In particular, providers are looking to the workflow and reporting capabilities of RIS products to be elements in an enterprise-wide imaging strategy.

“Though the advent of PACS solutions has dramatically increased the volume of images facilities can manage, hospitals have realized that PACS is not the complete workflow driver originally hoped for,” Brown said. “Imaging studies are not complete without the corresponding reports, which are traditionally pulled by the RIS. Plus, the RIS is also tasked with the operational aspects of running the imaging department, which is outside the scope of a PACS solution.”

“Ultimately, our research shows that more hospitals are moving towards a patient- and RIS-driven workflow in imaging, and away from of an image- and PACS-driven workflow,” he said.