But invention is the mother of necessity, and the health care market has become extremely competitive and plagued with declining insurance and Medicare reimbursements. More and more hospitals and private practices are integrating software with traditional patient files and billing procedures.
In response to this need, RIS Logic and its president and CEO Dan Quigg developed Microsoft-based radiology information system software, in which all of a practice's data is stored to reduce paperwork and increase report turnaround.
"It takes you from scheduling to billing and collection -- the whole patient experience," says Quigg.
The demand for radiology information systems is on the rise. According to recent research, 31 percent of Diagnostic Imaging Centers and 40 percent of hospitals of 200 beds or fewer will evaluate the systems in the next two years.
"There is a growing trend of radiology group practices versus the standalone single sites ... and we developed our product with special features, i.e. practice analysis, to meet the unique needs of the group practice," says Quigg. "Our niche is outpatient imaging centers ... We have historically targeted a more entrepreneurial sector."
Only two other information health care companies, GE and Seimens, compete in the the radiology group practice niche.
"Our stuff is not cheap ... and this is the first system developed for an outpatient (facility), not a hospital. Some recognize the value for the price and are they willing to spend the money," Quigg says.
But that is just part of what has fueled RIS' impressive growth in a few short years.
"The key is that we successfully brought a product to market in a short amount of time," says Quigg. "In 2001, we got started, and 2002 is the first full year we've had transactions."
Quigg adds that RIS' success comes from targeting the smaller radiology practices instead of large hospitals, therefore building a reputation through word-of-mouth.
"In those smaller markets, (the doctors) talk to each other," says Quigg.
The company was acquired by a Milwaukee-based radiology imaging company, Merge eFilm Inc. RIS now has 48 employees and 63 customers at 200 sites. And more growth is ahead, because technology in medicine is inevitable, says Quigg.
"Unless you have an automated system to manage patient workflow, you can't compete. Not with turnaround times like they are ... it will affect efficiency (and) make you noncompetitive, and you will not be able to maintain profit margin." How to reach: RIS Logic Inc., (440) 914-1755