Former IT integrator crafts RIS as multisystem interface

May 4, 2006

RIS Concepts, a Miami-based firm formerly specializing in RIS and PACS integration, has developed a “RIS to rule them all,” according to a company executive.

RIS Concepts, a Miami-based firm formerly specializing in RIS and PACS integration, has developed a "RIS to rule them all," according to a company executive.

The Web-based RIS, which bears the name of its developer, interfaces with multiple PACS that may be installed at sites throughout a network.

"It makes everything come together," said Christie Hentschl, RIS Concepts director of sales and marketing. "It gives radiologists one central work list."

The modular, scalable RIS was built with imaging centers in mind, said company president Carter Posner. The out-of-the-box, single-site hardware and software combination goes for $40,000. Based on Java, it is built for easy installation and reliability.

"As long as the person has Internet Explorer and updated Java, which should be on every PC system, you bring up the system and it works," Posner said. "There is nothing else to do. There are no bumps."

Simple installation and operation help when signing referring physicians onto a network, he said. All they need to pick up reports is the right Internet Protocol address and a user password.

The RIS can be configured for as many sites as necessary, serving as a go-between for a variety of PACS and/or workstations. This solves a problem often faced by radiologists who must learn two or three interfaces into different PACS to access images.

"On one day, radiologists may read from their desks, the next day from a facility, and the third off the Web because they are on vacation," Posner said. "Our RIS can support multiple viewing systems."

The one-time IT integrator showcased the product at last week's Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine meeting in Austin, hoping to attract interest from OEMs as well as end users. RIS Concepts is supplying the product to two OEMs and negotiating with others, according to Posner. Several user sites are already operating.

Posner framed the product as a "responsibility-based RIS," because it keeps the responsibilities of individual staff onscreen until they are fulfilled. He used the example of the clerical worker who does scheduling. Patients who miss appointments must be rescheduled, or the RIS Concepts system will keep their cases open.

"So if somebody doesn't take care of recapturing exams, the administrator will know about it," he said.

In addition to the staples of RIS, which include capture of basic patient data and generation of billing, the system offers a unique "print and scan to DICOM" feature, which translates radiology reports and other documents into DICOM format for printing along with DICOM image files.

The system can also turn off features. Although a dictation transcription system (DTS) is built into the RIS Concepts product, users don't have to activate it.

"A lot of facilities have already invested in a DTS and they want to keep using it," Hentschl said. "With our system they can. And they can still get the workflow benefits."