Clinical Information Systems: RIS and CIS
The key buzzwords at RSNA 2004 are enhanced functionality, PACS integration and departmental offerings-particularly for mammography and cardiology. Many vendors have gotten on the RIS-PACS bandwagon and are highlighting integrated RIS-PACS offerings. And while many vendors are pointing to their system's improved functionality, they're also plugging simplicity and ease of use.

IDX Systems Corp. (Booth #1936) is showcasing its Imagecast for Radiology solution. The Imagecast integrated RIS/PACS uses a totally web-based architecture that incorporates advanced workflow and image distribution technologies for each unique user from a single integrated database. Real-time, bi-directional communication is provided with more than 1,500 modalities, making filmless and paperless workflow a reality. IDX also is showing phase one of a new user interface strategy, an enhanced interpreting provider worklist and a prototype of the Imagecast for Cardiology solution.

GE Healthcare (Booth #2700) is highlighting its Centricity Radiology Information System (RIS) is a fully featured solution that fits the needs of many facilities, from large and complex multi-facility hospital environments to the smallest imaging center. The system's advanced automation and intelligence - and robust performance - provide the technical advantage you need to meet the productivity and quality challenges you face. Centricity RIS has a wide array of powerful software tools to improve the flow of orders and patients through the radiology department from scheduling exams, to tracking patients and orders, to performing exams, and to reporting results.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #2729) is featuring SIENET Cosmos fully integrated, web-enabled RIS/PACS (see page 21) and its Siemens Outpatient Practice Management Solution, a flexible, feature-rich radiology information and practice management solution designed to increase overall productivity and efficiency, reduce operating costs and improve the quality of patient care. Key features include scheduling, Electronic Medical Record, billing/collection, DICOM modality worklist, prefetch prior reports and images and report and image distribution to Siemens MagicWeb, which creates a paperless/filmless work environment. The scheduling component is designed for single or multiple locations.

Misys Healthcare Systems (Booth #5359) is demonstrating at RSNA its RIS-PACS integrated optimization workflow solution. Misys Radiology is a patient-focused, integrated radiology information system that delivers advanced capabilities to allow the diagnostic imaging department to: schedule appointments; register patients and exam orders; monitor patient exams progression; and create, display and review exams reports that include a history of all exams and activities. Misys PIM provides DICOM services that eliminate the need for a "broker" between Misys Radiology and any PACS vendor solution, and complies with IHE guidelines. Misys PIM addresses the need for patient and exam information to be more efficiently shared, updated and reconciled between the RIS, imaging modalities and PACS solutions.

McKesson Information Systems (Booth #4902) is highlighting its Horizon Radiology Manager enterprise RIS with new training modules to bring staff up to speed and complement the intuitive user interface and unique color-coding for ease of navigation and fast learning. Reporting, including integrated dictation and transcription modules as well as e-signature and seamless integration with Horizon Medical Imaging, offers increased speed and efficiency in delivery of patient exam results. Other new enhancements include medical necessity checking that allow clients to pre-check and post-check procedures for medical necessity reimbursement to assist in managing the appropriateness of the procedure to ensure reimbursement, and integration with billing and claims checking.

Amicas, a VitalWorks company, (Booth #8520) is unveiling several new additions to its Amicas Vision Series, an end-to-end series of image and information management products for acute care, imaging centers and radiology practices. Specifically, VitalWorks' RadConnect RIS and VitalWorks Practice Manager Radiology are now part of the Amicas Vision Series family - now called Vision Series RIS and Vision Series Financials, respectively, for ambulatory care facilities. These products are complemented by Amicas Vision Series PACS web-based PACS to comprise a complete series of products.

Agfa Healthcare (Booth #1943) is introducing the Practice Management System (PMS), a radiology information system geared for the growing imaging center market in the U.S. and Canada. The system combines scheduling, reporting, workflow management, work list integration, billing and practice business analysis as well as integration with IMPAX, Agfa's PACS.

Dictaphone (Booth #2323) is featuring its PowerScribe Workstation, a speech recognition system built from the ground up for radiology. The software lets physicians dictate, self-complete recognized text, and electronically sign reports from any internet-connected PC, giving radiologists "once-and-done" control over the report creation process, the company said.

PowerScribe software is order-centric. Its browser-based speech recognition is optimized for physician self-editing, allowing transcription cost savings and accommodating more traditional report editing if desired. Among the system's benefits are: allowing radiologists to enroll and train it quickly by reading a few reports; the ability to edit speech-recognized reports with voice commands or keyboard; choice of batch or real-time mode; creation of standard/normal reports and fill-in templates quickly with voice-driven "Short Cuts"; electronic signatures on reports using microphone buttons; viewing of patient and order information on screen through direct interface to the RIS; and remotely listening to dictated reports at any time, at any telephone.

Guardian Technologies International Inc. (Booth #4972) is launching the Guardian-Wise Next Generation RIS/PACS. The web services-based product seamlessly integrates RIS and PACS. Key features are functional workflow including inbound orders, exam scheduling, patient tracking, modality worklists, transcription, film tracking, radiologist worklists and report generation; storage archiving and diagnostic viewing of exams; totally reversible, lossless compression ratios of up to 10:1; voice, images and data incorporation; PACS; intelligent study management and routing; single database solution; multi-site scheduling to the enterprise based on user profile. The configurable and expandable Guardian-Wise is designed for imaging centers and small and medium hospitals. FDA clearance is pending and U.S. availability is expected in January 2005.

Swearingen Software (Booth #2715) at RSNA is unveiling version 4.0 of its RMS for Windows radiology information system product with "New Site/Branch" code capabilities. With the new capability, multiple branches can use a common RMS program and database. Users can report on a single branch or all branches combined. A hospital system or group of clinics can run RMS from one, central location as if it were an application service provider (asp) application. This way, all the facilities utilize one RMS application and one common database.

CPU (Booth #7210) is introducing the new release of MED/FM Medical Financial Management Software. MED/FM Release 6.0 features a new statement process, HIPAA privacy notes, a document attachment module, an enhanced transcription module and a more advanced anesthesia module. The statement process allows users to view virtual statements and run reverse statement procedures across all entities. Release 6.0 is designed for HIPAA compliancy and provides special areas for HIPAA privacy notes. Enhancements to the transcription module include passwords and access profiles. CPU's document attachment module allows users to attach an image to a patient's account and also attach a scanned image of an EOB to an open item batch, making that image available on every account in the batch.

eSys Medical (Booth #2356) is showcasing at RSNA a new version of its web-based radiology information system. Built using J2EE, with enhanced clustering and proprietary caching technologies, RadioLogic 5.0 is scalable to thousands of users, millions of exams and supports multiple time zones and languages. With this release, eSys Medical offers a U.S. billing module, which does online insurance eligibility verification and electronic insurance submissions and reconciliation. RadioLogic 5.0 also introduces significant new workflow features including QuickSearch and Enterprise Snapshots Subscription Service. 

Eastman Kodak Co. (Booth #3537) is highlighting its Kodak RIS 2010 - a complete workflow management solution that improves productivity, efficiency and information accuracy in diagnostic imaging departments.

Medcon (Booth #6927) is showcasing TCS Symphony, a complete cardiovascular information system that handles all aspects of cardiac image and information management. The patient-centric system acquires images and clinical data from all sources in the hospital and communicates with all hospital information systems. It includes viewing, annotation and report generation functions. TCS Symphony allows remote access to all patient and image data, as well as viewing and report generation over the web. The system is modular and highly configurable.

MedQuist (Booth #6724) is unveiling the SpeechQ for Radiology speech recognition solution. The system continuously learns, progressively increasing in power and productivity, MedQuist said. To maximize performance, it offers advanced macros/templates and automatic punctuation and formatting assistance, while ignoring non-speech sounds.

Merge eFilm (Booth #7726) is showing its Fusion RIS/PACS integrated single-desktop solution that automates, streamlines and integrates RIS (RIS Logic), PACS, dictation, document management, billing and practice analysis workflow into a single solution and distributes images via the combination of image streaming, and RIS and PACS DICOM driven routing methods to accelerate productivity, improve profitability and increase the quality of patient care.

Merge eFilm also is demonstrating upcoming Fusion RIS/PACS product releases. Referring Practice Portal provides referring physician's practices access to reports and the associated images from Fusion RIS/PACS via the web and instant access to the Exam/Appointment Status. Fusion eFilm Hanging Protocols are RIS-driven hanging protocols that are tied to the procedure or radiologist for customized, efficient and accurate options in viewing images and relevant priors. PACS or DICOM-driven hanging protocols tied to the scanner also can be configured.

DR Systems (Booth #6533) is showcasing the latest upgrade of its PACS/RIS. For a full description, see the PACS Packs the Choices section.

NovaRad Corp. (Booth #1143) is introducing NovaPACS 6.0, a newly released version of its PACS/RIS. For a full description, see the PACS Packs the Choices section.

SmartPACS (Booth #8549) is launching Infinitt RIS/PACS. For a full description, see the PACS Packs the Choices section.