PACS and RIS Systems Are Within Reach
“Radiology Information System” technology, better known as RIS systems, have actually been around for quite some time – going on two decades, in fact. And the concept itself dates back to the early 1980s.
The year was 1992, and the place was Ohio State University Medical Center's Department of Radiology. It was an innovation that has since revolutionized the transfer and storage of medical images, making it easier and less expensive to create and maintain important patient information archives. Of course, it wasn't particularly cheap back in the day; the OHU system cost somewhere in the high six-figures. It was an investment that paid for itself, however; within ten years, OHU's PACS had saved around a million dollars in overhead as well as approximately 7,000 hours of physicians' time, reducing the interval between patient exam and case dictation to about 180 minutes.
And of course, as is the case with other kinds of technology, the cost of PACS technology has fallen to the point that virtually every clinic and private medical office can afford to have such a system in place.
RIS systems allow your imaging department to finally dispense with expensive (and often toxic) photographic chemicals and other supplies; that dark room can finally be used for something else. Patient images go directly to the server in a digital format known as DICOM, and can be examined right away. Furthermore, these digital images can easily be transmitted over the internet, making it possible for physicians to hold consultations in real time with colleagues anywhere in the country – or on the planet, for that matter.
PACS also do much more that simply provide a way to store and view patient images. RIS systems are also used to store and archive all patient records in a single digital file using the DICOM file format. No longer is there the risk of images becoming separated from other patient records. No longer do patient records have to be kept in bulky file folders and stashed in heavy, cumbersome file cabinets or in rows of shelves in a vast room where someone has to spend time looking for them – and where they aren't particularly secure. When stored on an office server, they can easily be called up using a quick, easy search function and they can be password-protected to prevent unauthorized viewing.
The best part is that RIS systems and PACS can be configured in any of several different ways to suit the needs of a specific office or clinic. There is no steep learning curve; the software is intuitive and easy to learn, saving time when the people in the front office do not have to go through extensive training in the use of the new interface. Learn more right here about how a new PACS can streamline your office or clinic's operations.