5 Ways to Streamline Radiology

2012-03-28
 

5 ways to streamline radiologyAs this blog has noted more than once in the past six months, the future of radiology probably won’t be much like it’s recent past. To be specific, the age of perpetually large volume growth of radiology is probably over, and fee-for-service payment systems will become less prevalent.

Without reliable volume and predictable income, how can radiologists plan for a secure financial future? According to this article from HealthData Management, an RIS/PACS can be a crucial part of streamlining radiology procedures and thus improve the bottom line. Here are five ways that an RIS does this:

  1. Streamlining Referrals. An RIS/PACS can be used to directly interface with any number of EHR systems, making it easier for ambulatory clinics to a) Order radiology services and b) Incorporate radiology results into EHRs. Such a direct, digitally-based connection also reduces time-consuming paperwork and faxing.
  2. Maximizing Improved Network Speed. An PACS doesn’t care whether it receives images quickly or slowly – but radiologists do. Get the most use out of an PACS by boosting network speed. The download difference – 20 seconds per x-ray instead of two minutes – can make huge differences in productivity.
  3. Streamlining Billing. An RIS can directly interface with on-site or off-site billing programs, reducing the number of man-hours (and paperwork) devoted to the complicated set of hoops between a procedure and a proper invoice. In many cases, an RIS can even pave the way to using a billing service, eliminating billing personnel (and substantial expenses) altogether.
  4. Unifying PACS. For radiology practices that service many different clients, having a system that can interface with different PACS is crucial. The right RIS can essentially reduce several different interfaces to one, enabling radiologists to focus on actually interpreting images instead of navigating different software protocols.
  5. Use the Cloud. Information storage….the final (and continually expanding) frontier of IT, especially for picture-heavy applications like RIS and PACS. By storing information at a secure offsite location, radiology practices can let someone else’s server (and IT team) manage massive amounts of data and – more importantly – enable their  radiologists to access images from just about anywhere.

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