Healthcare IT Vendors Not Delivering on the Vision of Integrated RIS/PACS Solutions

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New report from market research firm KLAS examines how the market hype for integrated RIS/PACS has not translated into many viable provider deployments

Despite years of vendor announcements and market rhetoric about the virtues of a solution that combines picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and radiology information system (RIS) technology, few vendors have delivered an integrated, full-featured RIS/PACS.

In a new report titled The Revival of RIS, market research firm KLAS profiles the renewed interest among healthcare providers in RIS technology and looks at the efforts of several major healthcare IT companies to deliver a combined RIS/PACS offering, which would blend the imaging capacity of a PACS product with the patient-centric workflow and reporting available in the RIS. Among other findings, the report concludes that few vendors are today providing a truly integrated solution.

"GE, FUJIFILM, Carestream, McKesson, Agfa and Philips have all announced and are pursuing plans for a combined RIS/PACS solution, but few have demonstrated any real progress," said Ben Brown, KLAS research director and author of the new RIS report.

"In the large hospital market, Siemens has achieved modest success with the integration of syngo Workflow and syngo Imaging, while Cerner is also starting to make headway," Brown said. "Many other vendors have articulated a strategy for combining the two technologies, but do not yet have enough live clients to validate their solutions."

Among community hospitals and outpatient organizations, a number of vendors market RIS/PACS solutions, but many of those offerings only deliver limited RIS functionality, without extensive billing, managerial or reporting features.

RIS Makes a Comeback
The new KLAS report also underscores a renewed interest in the RIS as more healthcare providers embrace a patient-centric approach to medical imaging. Now that many hospitals and imaging centers have settled on a PACS strategy, the modernization of the RIS has become a priority. In particular, providers are looking to the workflow and reporting capabilities of RIS products to be key elements in an enterprise-wide imaging strategy.

"Though the advent of PACS solutions has dramatically increased the volume of images facilities can manage, hospitals have realized that PACS is not the complete workflow driver originally hoped for," Brown said. "Imaging studies are not complete without the corresponding reports, which are traditionally pulled by the RIS. Plus, the RIS is also tasked with the operational aspects of running the imaging department, which is outside the scope of a PACS solution."

"Ultimately, our research shows that more hospitals are moving towards a patient- and RIS-driven workflow in imaging, and away from of an image- and PACS-driven workflow," he added.

Among the RIS vendors rated in the KLAS report, Epic Radiant was ranked number one for large hospitals (200+ beds) with an overall performance score of 84.3 out of 100. Siemens syngo Workflow and GE Centricity RIS-IC were ranked second and third, respectively. NovaRad NovaRIS (81.9) was the top-ranked product for community hospitals, followed by Siemens syngo Workflow and Meditech C/S ITS. For outpatient facilities, Avreo interWORKS interFLOW (88.7) took the top spot, followed by InStar Systems RIS and FUJIFILM (Empiric).

To learn more about the RIS market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, The Revival of RIS report is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS' mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from over 4500 hospitals and over 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to, email marketing (at) KLASresearch (dot) com, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.

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Shawn Dickerson
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