Meaningful Use, Aging Equipment Spur RIS Adoption

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A new report from CapSite, a Burlington, Vermont-based health care technology research and advisory firm, indicates that an installed base with rapidly aging software, as well as pressure to satisfy U.S. IT Meaningful Use requirements, may propel the U.S. radiology information system (RIS) market forward.

Of 363 U.S. hospitals participating in CapSite’s 2011 RIS survey, more than half of reported using a RIS that has been in place for more than five years. The largest proportion of users in the study have systems that were more than six years old.

"As organizations start to make progress with Stage 1 Meaningful Use and specifically around” their electronic health record (EHR) plans, “we believe they will start to look at other areas within their organization that have not been a primary focus," says Gino Johnson, CapSite vice president. "And whether that's PACS, or in this case, RIS, there would seem to be some of these systems that are getting long in the tooth and may be overdue for a replacement."

Ninety percent of the responding institutions employ a RIS and 10% do not, with order entry, management reporting, and scheduling functions the most popular uses of such technology at 272, 254, and 198 users, respectively. Other RIS uses cited by respondents encompassed dictation/transcription (168 institutions), mammography tracking (147), and business analytics/data mining (125). Rounding out the list are referring physician access/portal (117), emergency department (ED)/technologist discrepancy reporting (73), radiologist peer review (58), capture and tracking of patient x-ray dose (56), automated critical results notification (52), and marketing tools (17).

In additional study findings, 53% of institutions that recently purchased a RIS reported having done so as part of a broader enterprise clinical system (for example, EHRs). A total of 24% claimed to have purchased the system in combination with a PACS, while 23% bought a standalone RIS.

Johnson deems the fact that the majority of systems being purchased as part of a broader enterprise clinical system an indication of the market emphasis on Meaningful Use. Of the 47% of respondents that do not have a RIS, but intend to implement one, 52 institutions intend to do so within the next six months; 32, within the next seven to 12 months; 30, within the next 13 months to two years; and 27, within the next two years or more.

Fifty-three percent of institutions queried said they do not plan to acquire a RIS. Of other systems study participants intend to repurchase or replace within the next 24 months, voice recognition/dictation systems, EHRs, and automated critical results notification solutions headed the list, according to CapSite.

To download the report, click here: http://capsite.com/assets/Uploads/2011-U.S.-RIS-Study-TOC2.pdf