Integration Trumps Functionality in the Ambulatory RIS and PACS Markets

Ambulatory PACS and RIS vendors are evaluated for the first time in a single KLAS report 

OREM, Utah - April 19, 2011 - In the new KLAS report, Ambulatory RIS/PACS: Integrating Provider Needs, KLAS spoke with over 500 provider facilities about their RIS and PACS vendors.  Combining RIS and PACS findings in the same report offers a more comprehensive look at both markets in a way that mirrors how providers are shopping for solutions. Providers are looking for vendors that offer not only functionality, but also smooth integration between a RIS and PACS. To achieve integration, some providers are willing to sacrifice functionality. 

"Integration means increased provider satisfaction when looking at in the combined RIS/PACS markets," said Monique Rasband, KLAS Research Director and author of the report. "However, there are a couple of exceptions to that rule. Single-side vendors that offer only one side of a RIS or PACS solution like MedInformatix and Intelerad do exceptionally well in the RIS and PACS markets, respectively. Because they do not need to focus on integrating a RIS and PACS solution, single-side vendors can hone in on functionality." 

Providers say they are also very satisfied with vendors offering a single-database RIS/PACS. Vendors like CoActiv, DR Systems, and Infinitt offer the perks of tight integration-including easy maintenance, consistent look and feel of the PACS and RIS, and, in some cases, lower cost. CoActiv is the top scoring PACS vendor in the report, but was not ranked because it is a regional solution. Intelerad IntelePACS was the top ranked system and Infinitt moved up seven spots this year to take the number two spot in the ambulatory PACS market. 

Generally speaking, vendors that offer RIS and PACS on a separate database have more trouble with integration and providers report being less impressed with them. For example, GE and Agfa have yet to achieve a level of integration that providers are happy with. Agfa is the most vulnerable PACS vendor, and GE is the most vulnerable RIS vendor. Not only do these vendors struggle to integrate their RIS and PACS, but the service is below par as well. 

Fuji bucks the trend, and wows providers in both the RIS and PACS market, taking second place in RIS and third place in PACS, which is very rare. Though not on a single-database, providers feel that it performs similarly to a single-database system. 

Additionally, market consolidation and poor vendor performance are driving nearly one in ten providers to switch vendors. Other providers are in a holding pattern due to uncertainty in the market. In the future providers are concerned with seeing some new development from their vendors. "Providers want to see vendors adding new modules like mammography viewing, and they want good web-based functionality-as well as upgrades that come out on time and are well tested," said Rasband. 

Twenty-one vendors are fully rated in Ambulatory RIS/PACS: Integrating Provider Needs, including: Agfa, Aspyra, Avreo, Carestream, CoAvtiv, DR Systems, eRAD, FUJIFILM, GE Healthcare, Infinitt, Intelerad, McKesson, Merge (AMICAS), MedInformatix, NovaRad, Philips, RamSoft, ScImage, Sage, Sectra, Viztek. Early data vendors include: BRIT Systems, Digisonics, Epic, InStar, Siemens, and Swearingen. 

To learn more about the ambulatory RIS and PACS markets, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the participating vendors, the report Ambulatory RIS/PACS: Integrating Provider Needs is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS' mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from over 4500 hospitals and over 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to, email [email protected], or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter at