EMR Data Archival Whitepaper Addressing Legacy Healthcare Information Technology Application Decommissioning & System Consolidation
As new healthcare information technologies emerge, critical data remains locked in decommissioned legacy systems, forcing Healthcare Organizations (HCOs) to dedicate IT resources on maintenance of obsolete systems. More hospitals are migrating to new clinical and financial health IT systems such as Epic, MEDITECH and Cerner, while legacy applications house vital data required for data retention compliance and financial management. Because the decision to decommission can impact many people and departments, organizations require a well-documented plan and associated technology to ensure data integrity.
Archiving creates the opportunity to realize immediate return on investment (ROI) as legacy systems are often maintained merely to reference historical data. This compliance is expensive and comes with a high total cost of ownership. Our studies show that HCOs that archive their data typically have an 80-95% savings over maintaining their existing system licenses and infrastructure.
It may seem a major and rather impossible detail to overlook, but defining and knowing what will be considered the legal medical record for your organization is critical. Consider and understand the following drivers that will impact and drive data archival scope specific to both the industry and your organization:
- Define Your Legal Record: Identify and prioritize all of the required data sets that need to exist and/ or complement each other in an eDiscovery, audit, or general data retrieval scenario. Call out any niche or custom data sets that will need to be included as part of the legal record.
- State & Federal Requirements: Understand the common requirements set forth both at the Federal and your local State levels. Patient modalities such as ambulatory and inpatient may have unique requirements within the same state or even at the specialty level (e.g., Pediatrics).
- Data Purging: Know what your strategy and process is for purging data records that have exceeded the required retention requirements. Of course maintaining all records overtime is possible, but it comes with the bearing of potential costs for data and patient storage. In order to begin establishing a cost baseline and potential ROI outlook for an EMR data archival project it’s important to know at what rate patient records may be purged from an archive.
- Practice Management: An area of critical scope and impact that will play a key role in maintaining ongoing relationships between clinical and financial data i the practice management system. There are almost certainly patient populations that may have been excluded from previous data conversions, but that fall into immediate data archival scope. Don’t just consider what exists in your current systems today, but also consider data (such as deceased patients) across all IT systems and the state of its generation.
- Ledger Requirements: A step up from patient level financials and practice management patient-driven data is ledger data. This data can typically be balance sheet oriented and provide balances, budgets, forecasts, and the overall condition of the bottom line in various aggregate fashions. This can be standalone applications, sub-modules of practice management systems, or even warehouse based data. Take the opportunity during a data archival initiative to prioritize and plan out how this data will need to be maintained in order to support the organization’s operational insight post-archive.
Download the full whitepaper for more information and resources regarding retiring healthcare legacy systems, EMR data archival: reducing costs, compliance & maintaining access.
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