What is a Radiology Information System?

Radiologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases using medical imaging procedures such as x-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography and ultrasound.

Because of the nature of the practice, running a successful radiology clinic or department requires a sophisticated database system where medical professionals can keep track of patient data and a high volume of image files.

A Radiology Information System (RIS) is a sophisticated EHR system designed specifically for use in a radiology practice.

A radiology information system (RIS) is a networked software system for managing medical imagery and associated data.

A RIS is especially useful for tracking radiology imaging orders and billing information, and is often used in conjunction with PACS to manage image archives, record-keeping and billing.

Benefits of Radiology Information Systems

Increased Efficiency & Fewer Data Entry Errors

RIS Systems provide a portal for Radiology staff to input information more rapidly and with less room for error.

With a modern RIS, radiologist teams tend to make fewer data entry errors when they work.

For example, built in templates guide data input, ensuring all vital data is entered on one screen before proceeding to the next.

Better Patient Coordination

Coordinating patient care is much easier when records are stored electronically.

You can share details with consulting specialists as well as the patient’s general doctor, for example, or work with a hospital for a procedure or a rehabilitation facility for post-treatment exercises.

Patient Tracking

RIS systems give clinics the ability to track a patients entire history from admission to discharge.

Their radiology history is stored in the system and can help coordinate past, present and future appointments.

Results Reporting

RIS Systems can generate reports for patients, groups of patients or procedures.

The reports provide statistical data to be used for  the treatment and the analysis of patient health.

Image Tracking

Traditionally, radiology providers use RIS to track individual films and their associated data.

But as EHRs have become standard across the healthcare industry and digitized images and PACS have been widely adopted, radiology departments and their RIS-PACS systems have been more drawn into the clinical workflow of the entire medical enterprise.

Money Savings

With fewer mistakes in data entry and faster processing time of patient information, you will invariably save money.

This is a prime motivator for many owners and managers of radiology practices.

Streamlines Functions

Many of the features of a RIS System help streamline day to day administrative functions.

Over time this helps save money on overhead costs and less time fixing and correcting errors and mistakes.

Increases Revenue

Your RIS will help you increase revenue by reducing missed appointments as well as decreasing the turnaround time for reports.

Government Incentives

Many government programs offer financial incentives to physicians who provide care for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The stipulation is that they use certified RIS software that is used for generating reports and securely storing data.

Increased Diagnosis Accuracy

The more accurate diagnoses you can achieve thanks to a streamlined RIS application means you can expect to see some upturn in the statistics you compile on yearly patient positive outcomes.

Better Patient Care

RIS systems allow the fluid management of patients by providing an efficient workflow within the radiology department.

Radiologists and staff can add images and reports where they can also be accessed, retrieved and viewed by authorized staff within the practice or department.


A good RIS system will have a comprehensive billing system that can process electronic payments and automated claims.


As you can see, there is a reason why so many radiology clinics and departments are moving towards the implementation of Radiology Information Systems.

They give you the ability to manage large data and image files typically generated in a radiology practice.

Furthermore, using a RIS will give your practice the qualifications to receive government financial incentives.

Paper-based systems are out-dated and and a Radiology Information system will get you everything you need to move from a paper-based system to a more secure, efficient and financially beneficial way of managing your radiology practice.

About the author

Katie Brownley

Health & IT Journalist covering Cybersecurity News, Data Breaches and Security Industry News. Email is open for DM and News Tips are Welcome

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