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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on January 29th, 2019

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Basic Pros & Cons of Radiology Information Systems

Radiology Information System

Do you own or manage a large radiology business and are noticing a decline in your patient population? Or maybe your problem is not being able to maintain a competent workforce. If these issues describe you, your dilemma could be linked to using outdated ways of keeping records. More and more healthcare professionals are becoming aware of the need to modernize how records are kept by using a state-of-the-art radiology information system (RIS). Here are some of the pros and cons of a radiology information system and its software, along with a few considerations and warnings. 

What Is a Radiology Information System? 

Radiology systems used to track medical records and billing

Even though radiology information systems were first introduced in the 1980s, many people are still unfamiliar with them. Basically, a radiology information system is a software system used to manage medical data and imagery. It's used to track radiology, imaging orders, and billing information. The system allows you to combine several functions into a single comprehensive system.

The Advantages of Using Radiology Information Systems

  • Patient records are much more efficient. In fact, improved efficiency is probably the biggest perk of a radiology information system. For example, computerized records make finding, entering data, and creating reports from patient information considerably easier and quicker than having to sort through mounds of paper. Even worse, trying to find information can be like looking for a needle in a haystack when paper records are disorganized.   
  • What's more, there's less of a chance of making mistakes when using RIS software. 
  • You save time. New patient registration can consume a lot of time when you're forced to wade through a stack of paper documents attached to a clipboard. Consider how you don't have to retype information, so you save time. 
  • It's easier to communicate with other practitioners or referring doctors. When you use RIS software, your interactions with referring doctors and their EHR (electronic health record) systems improve. Because all the pertinent details and results of your patients are contained in the system, other medical practitioners taking care of your patients can easily access the same information.
  • By using RIS software, referring physicians are more likely to refer you to their patients.
  • You get paid quicker. Another main benefit of using a radiology information system is that patient insurance can be verified before people even have their medical appointments. This can mean receiving your paycheck faster.
  • Patients receive higher quality care. Not only can you reap the rewards from radiology information system software, but your patients will also benefit. By being able to transmit patient information quicker, your patients can be attended to quicker, besides more efficiently. 

The Drawbacks 

On the other hand, there are a few challenges with radiology information systems. For instance:

  • RIS software is more suited for behavioral health, radiology, and laboratory offices rather than small, single-doctor practices because the cost of the software may be more than what's allotted for in their budgets.
  • Security can be problematic, just as it is when introducing any other type of new computer system to a network. That's why it's critical your system is properly secured to prevent hackers from breaching your RIS.
  • Learning the system can take time. Thus, be sure your employees are instructed on how to properly use the software, realizing how mistakes will probably occur at first.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Before deciding on whether to use a radiology information system, carefully consider all the pros and cons.
  • If you do decide to implement the software, be sure to thoroughly train your employees and staff, which means setting aside the needed resources and time.
  • Check to ensure your software provider periodically updates the software.
  • One way that security can be compromised is by clicking text messages or links in emails containing destructive malware that can hurt your system. 

As you can see, radiology information systems and their software can be a huge asset for a radiology department. They make everything from documentation to reporting and billing run smoother, quicker, and more efficiently. 

For more information about radiology information systems, click here to download our free e-book, “5 Vital Things You Need to Know About RIS Software.”


About Stephen O'Connor

Stephen O'Connor is the Director of Brand and Digital Marketing, responsible for many aspects of Advanced Data Systems Corporation’s (ADS) marketing, including product marketing, customer acquisition, demand generation, brand, brand design, and content marketing.

Stephen has more than 20 years of healthcare industry experience. Prior to ADS, Stephen spent 11 years at Medical Resources Inc. (MRI), most recently as the Manager of Marketing & Internet Services, where he and his teams were responsible for all marketing efforts and the market positioning of MRI’s services.

Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional.