RIS: Streamlining Images and Workflow

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Integration was all the rage with vendors showing off new integrated RIS-PACS solutions at RSNA. RIS-PACS fusion is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as vendors touted everything from integrated voice recognition and dictation capabilities to electronic medical record (EMR) connectivity, referring practice portals and financial and management reporting tools. The drive to go filmless and even paperless was apparent this year with a number of vendors showing off new electronic scheduling and document management tools to facilitate the paperless radiology department or imaging center. A few also highlighted expanded features for mammography, orthopedics and cardiology.

Web-based RIS made it big this year; many systems capitalize on .NET architecture for a scalable solution. While hybrid RIS-PACS made a big splash, some vendors continued to amplify the viability and need for best-of-breed solutions.

The need to maximize productivity across the enterprise was apparent, and one of the latest and greatest features for achieving this mantra is the digital dashboard -providing a real-time snapshot view of the department.

(Note: companies appear in alphabetical order.)   

Advanced Data Systems Corp. at RSNA launched the newest version of its ADS RIS.

ADS RIS integrates with the company's practice management capabilities and provides embedded electronic document management to create a more paperless environment while integrating documents directly to the patients' accounts in the ADS system. Other features include modality worklist to help coordinate workflow by modality; mammography, MRI and ultrasound tracking features to oversee and manage these areas; a multi-view, color-coded appointment scheduler for scheduling by patient or exam type; billing, EDI and financial tracking integrated from the ADS practice management system; DICOM and HL7 connectivity; PACS/voice recognition interfaces; bar coding and electronic signature and built-in dictation and transcription capabilities.

Agfa Corp. unveiled Impax RIS/PACS for imaging centers and Impax RIS and also highlighted the European, Australian and South American release of its MediWeb thin-client solution for radiology order communication and results distribution.
Impax RIS/PACS for imaging centers is tailored for the workflow, integration and implementation needs of single and multi-site centers and integrates RIS, PACS, speech, document management, billing and practice analysis. Impax RIS/PACS provides referring physicians with web access to reports and images.
The newly launched Impax RIS includes a full range of reporting and results distribution tools to support the complete radiology workflow. It offers integrated management reporting features, user profiles to minimize training and maximize efficiency and also optimizes use of resources with electronic scheduling, Agfa said. IMPAX RIS increases revenue through automatic billing data transmission and converts historical data from legacy systems as well as integrates with current and future IT infrastructure.

The web-based MediWeb optimizes workflow efficiency beyond radiology. Exams performed in the radiology department can be ordered and followed up from any desktop, and reports and images generated in the radiology department are available to any authorized user inside and outside of the hospital via a web browser. MediWeb has been successfully installed in four hospitals in different European countries where more than 1,000 users connect to the system daily.

AMICAS, the radiology division of VitalWorks Inc., debuted its Vision Series RIS at RSNA.

Vision Series RIS targets imaging centers, ambulatory care facilities and radiology practices. The modular web-based application provides tight desktop integration to AMICAS RealTime Worklist for optimal, personalized enterprise workflow. Patient context sensitive Vision Series RIS screens can be launched from a single click within the action icons of RealTime Worklist. AMICAS demonstrated end-to-end functionality of RIS-PACS-Financials integration, tracing workflow from the moment a patient is scheduled, straight through to the availability of the final report and images via PACS for referring physicians. Tight integration provides all stakeholders full visibility into RIS and PACS, including images and information management, for enhanced workflow. This tight integration to RealTime Worklist is currently in beta testing and will be available