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A radiology information system (RIS) is a computer system that assists radiology services in the storing, manipulation and retrieving of information.

RIS were first used in the 1970s and their primary aim was to manage and store radiology information.


The introduction of client/server computing, improved digital imaging and computer network technologies, along with the advancement of the DICOM and HL7 standards have put RIS along side picture archiving communication system (PACS) as an ideal solution for managing radiological images.

Since the 1990s, organisations have taken the steps to fully integrate PACS with radiology information systems, when the basic features and adapt needed to mange the acquisition, processing and storage of radiological information, becomes the responsibility of the RIS.

Some of the areas that can be addressed by radiology information systems are:

  • Patient Management: radiology information systems can be used to manage a patient’s entire workflow within the radiology department, images and reports can be added to and retrieved from electronic medical records (EMRs) and viewed by the authorised radiology staff.

  • Scheduling: Patient appointments for inpatients and outpatients can be scheduled when an order is received. Functions for scheduling the various available radiology staff with the allocated time slots can also be handled by the radiology information system.

  • Patient Tracking: The patient can be tracked from admission to discharge, with all the radiology procedures carried out recorded. This would include the patient’s past, present and future appointments.

  • Results Reporting: Reports concerning the results of an individual patient, a group of patients or a particular procedure can be generated using a radiology information system.

  • Film Tracking: Individual films can be tracked.



International Medical Informatics Association
American Medical Informatics Association
UK Health Informatics Society
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

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Radiology Information Systems

Last Updated: 10 August 2006.

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