April 12, 2021
Healthcare data archives are typically driven by EMR/EHR changes, acquisitions, or physician retirement. If your healthcare organization is going through any of these transitions, it’s a great time to make a healthcare data archive plan. Your old legacy system contains valuable data that must be preserved, but it carries maintenance costs and security burdens. The best way to maintain access to the data you need to reference, while eliminating maintenance and security concerns, is through data migration and archival.
If you are migrating to a new system, you may have the option to move a portion of your legacy data to your new system. But simply migrating basic data often does not satisfy data retention requirements. The migrated version is often incomplete or not faithful to the original data in other ways. Additionally, many vendors will only commit to importing a bare subset of data, and almost never agree to import detailed financial records. To ensure you have the data you need for ongoing medical record requests and financial records, a thorough data archive is the best choice.
Your data extraction approach depends on where your data is stored.
A reputable healthcare data archive partner can guide you through these questions to help you select the most cost-effective, thorough, and efficient data extraction path. In some cases, you may be required to request the data from your old software vendor.
Once you have the data you need to archive and/or migrate, it is important to convert the data into a form that makes sense for your archive use cases and/or to fit your new system. One of the biggest decisions is whether to create a static image of each record; or to archive as discrete data so that there is flexibility to present it as needed down the road. Doing both is often the prudent way to go. The complete fixed image offers compliance as it cannot be altered; while having the archive in discrete data form means custom reports based on the data can be run if needed.
When creating a data archive, you can choose to house the data in a stand-alone application, use an existing document management system, or use a cloud solution. Remember: Data archives are subject to HIPAA and security considerations, so it is important that you have a robust strategy to control user access, logging, and reporting.
A healthcare data archive specialist can help you determine the best choice for your data and your facility. They will be able to help create a data storage plan that takes into account:
If you are changing EMR/EHR, navigating an acquisition, or preparing to retire—data migration and archiving is important to the ongoing security, compliance, and resource use of your healthcare organization. A reputable and experienced healthcare data archive vendor can help you decide the best method to extract, convert, and store your healthcare data, allowing you to preserve and access the data you need securely and reliably. Working with a healthcare data expert can help your organization save time, money, and eliminate security risk.