By Lenny Reznik, Director Enterprise Imaging
and Info Systems, Agfa HealthCare
As Meaningful Use requirements solidify and
deadlines loom, radiology IT is rapidly evolving to keep pace. Radiologists and radiology IT leaders
are working together to identify the best technology strategies to meet Meaningful Use requirements for electronic medical records (EMR) without
sacrificing system functionality or the efficient workflows that have best
served the patient, end user, and department. At the same time, EMRs have been
evolving, and many now incorporate several functions of the radiology
information system (RIS), such as order entry, patient registration, and report
repository to the enterprise electronic medical record.
be too quick to say goodbye to the traditional RIS. While there may be cost
benefits of an integrated RIS/EMR solution, and one could argue that
data housed on a common enterprise-wide platform leads to a common workflow
across the organization, the traditional RIS/PACS integration is still the
recommended route and preferred by many institutions due to its inherent
ability to properly fulfill the uniqueness of radiology operations. This
includes the facts that:
technologist, nurses, and other staff serve as the primary patient interface.
radiologist provides a consultative service and does not examine the patient in
the traditional sense, often reading exams in batches instead of during the
department may use multiple modalities, each with its own complex protocol.
imaging data must be processed, managed, and archived.
includes communication to and from the referring physician on both ends of the
is a specialty and should be served by a specialty system. Integrated RIS/EMR
cannot deliver radiologists the flexibility and functionality they need. The
best infrastructure for radiology resource management and care of radiology
patients is and will continue to be an integrated RIS/PACS, with an interface
to the external EMR. Don’t just take my word for it. KLAS is actually launching
a study to address this exact situation. We will all be tuned in to see if
radiology administrators today agree that the fate of RIS will still be as the
primary manager of the radiology department.
Biography: Lenny Reznik is the Director of Enterprise Imaging and Info
Systems at Agfa HealthCare.