RIS, Integration, and the Balancing Act

The latest KLAS report, RIS 2013: The Integration Equation, discusses the importance of integration as providers approach their RIS strategy

When making an important decision, it is common practice to weigh your options. Picture an old-fashioned scale, for example, and imagine that the right decision will cause equilibrium and a perfect balance. This harmony is not easy to achieve, and may be impossible, especially when you are weighing something as important and complicated as integration.

The latest KLAS report, RIS 2013: The Integration Equation, discusses the importance of integration as providers approach their RIS strategy. The integration scale is directly impacted by the RIS a provider chooses. Some RIS decisions lead to providers finding the ideal integration solution, while others leave providers with scales that are completely off balance. How should providers weigh their options? How do they prevent the feared tipping of the scale?

KLAS found some general rules that seem to apply to most organizations when it comes to a RIS strategy and finding the optimal integration equation. Although there are exceptions, in general, large organizations (200 beds or more) opt to go with the RIS offered by their EMR vendor. On the other hand, ambulatory organizations seem to have more success when they go with the RIS offered by their PACS vendor, if the vendor offers one. The choices that organizations in the middle make are a mixed bag. They still make integration decisions, but there is a mix of PACS/RIS and EMR/RIS. The days of the standalone RIS may not be completely gone, but such systems typically aren’t considered when change happens.

Determining a RIS strategy can often seem like a balancing act. It is critical for providers to weigh their options and acknowledge the impact of integration when making their decisions.

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