had the potential to solve a lot of problems while offering unmatched service.
Others weren’t quite so sure and took a
wait and see approach. RCI had to decide if it was worth the risk to implement
such a system when everyone wasn’t on
board. Knowing this was the right thing
to do, RCI gambled that the service
would demonstrate its value to the early
adopters and then others who were a bit
on the fence would come around.
The team began to understand the
depth of differences between the various
critical access sites. Some had already
started down the path of going digital
while others were still using primarily
film for the majority of their imaging.
What was even more challenging was the
fact that some facilities didn’t have any
kind of electronic system for placing radiology orders. The team set out to find
a small, inexpensive RIS to include with
the system as an option for those facilities
that didn’t already have one. What the
team found was that didn’t exist. While
many RIS vendors were proud to demonstrate an ability to scale up, none were
too excited to demonstrate an ability to
scale down. Some did have the capability
to support multiple organizations, but
the cost was prohibitive.
RCI decided to develop their own sys-
tem for orders and results that would be
multi-organizational and would provide
a web based interface for the end users.
Using traditional web based application
programming tools, a modern database,
and the HL7 interface engine RCI de-
veloped what would be called RISLite as
part of the service offering for those fa-
cilities that didn’t have a RIS. RCI would
interface with existing HIS/RIS systems
at those locations that had that capabil-
ity. Many other critical decisions had to
be made regarding how each organiza-
tion would be integrated to the system.
During the PACS discovery process, RCI
made sure to limit the field to only those
systems that could support multiple or-
ganizations in order to keep the patient
records and imaging exams separate
from each other and maintain the values
that uniquely identify patient and exam.
The HL7 interface configuration would
be developed to ensure proper organi-
zational identifiers were included with
orders and results to provide the appro-
priate data flow and automation.
When RCINet went live . . . it was an immediate success,
providing 24 × 7 reads that local care providers as well as
hospital staff and administrators truly appreciated.