Annual Survey Says Radiology Professionals Want More Online Scheduling; Keeping Up with Technology and Government Regulations are Top Concerns
Los Angeles, CA – (February 6, 2019) RIS Innovator MedInformatix announced today results of a recently concluded survey that examined the state of the radiology information systems marketplace. The State of RIS Survey polled providers across the radiology landscape, from practices and hospitals of all sizes and utilizing a wide range of technology solutions.
“We are pleased to share the results of our survey, insight into the current state of the RIS market and the general direction the industry is headed,” said Pat McGonigle, President and CEO of MedInformatix. “I think the results will be useful, not just for RIS providers like MedInformatix, but to administrators, physicians, patients, regulators and others in the larger RIS ecosystem.”
Key findings of the 2018 MedInformatix State of RIS Survey include:
Functionality & customization more important than cost – When selecting a new RIS, providers say functionality (36 percent), coupled with the ability to customize certain features (28 percent) is more important than the cost of the system (23 percent). This represents a slight shift in attitude from 2017 when 60 percent of respondents ranked functionality as the number one selection driver. Cost ranked second before dropping to third place in 2018. This year, radiology providers stressed a desire for a RIS tailored to their respective practice, not a one-size-fits-all system. “The reality is no two practices are alike, and providers are willing to make an investment in a system tailored to meet their exact needs,” adds McGonigle.
Integration is desired benefit – 33 percent of those polled identified integration with their practice’s existing technology systems as the most important benefit of their RIS. Providers especially say they desire a RIS compatible with any PACS environment so they have the flexibility of selecting among multiple technology providers rather than from a single-source solution.
Online scheduling is the goal - Another 24 percent of providers listed the ability to improve their online scheduling capabilities as a central goal of their practice. Responses here cut both ways. Providers are anxious to give patients the convenience to self-schedule their appointments, make changes and confirmations. They also want internal clinical and administrative teams to be able to track scheduling activity from an operational perspective and better manage practice workload, staffing levels and related issues.
Technology is good but overwhelming - While advancements in RIS technology are intended to make practices more efficient, they can also be burdensome. 38 percent of respondents said keeping up with technology was the most pressing challenge they faced in 2018. A barrage of new updates and innovations, some incompatible with earlier versions, can be overwhelming on a practice, especially those smaller in size. In 2017, radiology professionals cited accessing and leveraging large amounts of data at the practice level as their biggest hurdle.
Concern over regulatory mandates - From meaningful use to MACRA, MIPS, APM and other regulatory requirements, the radiology industry has seen a number of initiatives imposed in recent years, and the survey reveals they are taking a toll. 30 percent of respondents cited the ongoing need to keep up with regulatory mandates as their top concern. Heading into what promises to be another unpredictable year in healthcare, McGonigle suggests this concern is likely to linger throughout 2019.
“In only its second year, it’s nice to see this initiative become a useful barometer for today’s radiology marketplace,” added McGonigle. “We’ll look forward to keeping our finger on the pulse of the industry and learning what ideas, issues and trends helped shape the State of RIS in 2019.”
The industrywide survey was conducted November 27 through December 31, 2018, in collaboration with Survey Monkey. Respondents included attendees at the 2018 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, members of the MedInformatix customer community and a general audience of radiology professionals.