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An Overview of Radiology Information Systems (RIS) and Benefits

A radiology information system (RIS) is a kind of networked software system meant to manage medical imagery and supplementary data. An RIS is specially valuable in the tracking of radiology imaging orders and billing details, and is typically used with PACS (picture archiving and communication system) as well as VNA (vector network analyzer) for record-keeping and billing purposes.

An RIS has many vital functions:

Patient Management

An RIS can record a patient’s full workflow within the department of radiology; providers may enter images and reports to EHRs, from where they could be retrieved and viewed by authorized individuals.

Scheduling

The RIS has a feature that automates the setting of appointments, whether for inpatients or outpatients.

Patient Monitoring

With an RIS system, providers are able to track the whole radiology history of a patient, from his admission to discharge, and harmonize this history with past, current and upcoming appointments.

Reporting

An RIS can prepare statistical reports for one or multiple patients, or for particular particular procedures.

Image Tracking

In the past, radiology centers employed RIS to track individual films, along with associated details. However, with EHRs becoming standard across the healthcare industry and digital images and PACS turning digital, radiology departments have been ushered into the clinical workflow of the whole medical enterprise.

Billing

RIS systems offer detailed financial record-keeping as well as electronic payment and automated claim processing, even if such functions are now being incorporated into medical organizations’ general EHR systems.

Advantages of Radiology Information System

> RIS lowers the chances of procedures overlapping and being duplicated.

> Fewer billing errors leads to less delays or denials for claims payments.

> The centralization of data and images increases the efficiency of audit preparation processes.

> RIS systems help the department or clinic meet Medicare requirements for showing meaningful HER use, boosting their chances of receiving incentives o fup to $44,000 from Medicare.

> The RIS is considered user-friendly by most people, so training will not be time-intensive.

As with all fields of medicine, radiology departments and clinics are pressured to lower costs, improve patient results and satisfaction, and raise efficiency. When well integrated with Electronic Health Records (HER), RIS helps to automate and streamline the workflow that radiology practices deal with on a day to day basis. Moreover, such systems improve communication among the professional and administrative personnel, resulting in an increase thus raising overall efficiency. The RIS is fundamental to radiology IT clinical systems as it enables radiology staff to carry out their functions more effectively and much faster compared to traditional methods. Even with clear differences in the size and scope of imaging practices, the essential requirements of RIS are more or less similar for all imaging practices.

Source: radiology