In an article written over a year ago, I called the integration of RIS and PACS the “Holy Grail” of the industry. There have been numerous attempts by PACS companies to create their own RIS, and a few RIS companies have added PACS, though the latter often seek out existing products which are added on almost as an afterthought.
While I am no fan of Fuji Synapse, it does have a very significant presence in the marketplace, but as yet, it has no RIS of its own. Well, that’s about to change, at least for sites with lesser demand, such as imaging centers and the like (those that remain standing after DRA-2005 takes effect, that is). Fuji will work with Empiric Systems to provide a combined RIS/PACS package targeted at the outpatient market. Just how tight the integration will be remains to be seen.
I use Empiric’s leading Encompass.NET web-based RIS, and I am a big fan of this product. I hope no one takes offense, but I consider it the Amicas of RIS systems. Its interface is very clear and easy to use, even though it does have the power to do everything I need it to do. It may not be up to running a full hospital enterprise, but in reality, it really isn’t far from having such capability. It has integrated quite well with our Amicas PACS.
When adding a significant chunk of programming to a big product, it is always hard to decide whether to write the functionality from scratch, or to simply acquire it from someone else. I do believe Fuji made a very wise choice by bringing in a best-of-breed RIS to do the job, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Maybe they will continue the trend of good decisions when it comes time to revamp their interface…..