May 10, 2021
Hospital CIOs face what may seem like conflicting challenges when decommissioning legacy systems. They face pressure to: remain compliant, retain access to necessary data, prevent disruptions in workflow, and mitigate costs. The larger your hospital or health system, the greater effort it is to coordinate all the deliverables, dependencies, and stakeholders necessary to execute a seamless EHR transition. Although it may appear the most expeditious path initially, few organizations have the in-house expertise and bandwidth needed to extract, convert, and archive legacy financial, patient, and technical data in a timely and secure manner.
Beyond the in-house option, there are many vendors who claim to be able to map data, but few have specialized experience in healthcare and your legacy system. Selecting an established healthcare data migration and archival vendor helps your facility transition systems smoothly without worry about running into roadblocks such as lack of access to data you need, unnecessary costs, legal issues, and security concerns. You may be tempted by “easy” solutions, but it is important to consider the hidden costs.
If you choose a data migration or archival vendor that hasn’t worked with your system or in healthcare, it’s likely they will not understand the operational needs of your organization enough to scope and manage the project appropriately. The project will take longer, cost more, and may not work the way you need it to when complete. As a case in point, our team was recently tasked with helping an EHR vendor extract data from a large, multi-location medical practice’s previous system. The vendor had initially tried to manage the project on their own; however, they hadn’t worked with their client’s previous system. Therefore, they did not understand how to scope the project.
The result? Significant time and resources were expended, multiple rounds of incomplete trial data were delivered, and clinicians remained frustrated by the results. As an experienced vendor, we stepped in to help the EHR vendor scope the project properly. That meant including realistic milestones and timelines based on our previous project experience. In short, working with an experienced vendor ensures the scope of the data migration and extraction project is accurate.
Maintaining a legacy system often means paying ongoing maintenance fees to service the system. In some cases, it may even mean retaining additional staff to maintain the systems as you wind down its usage. When you choose an experienced data archival vendor, you shorten your wind-down timeline and reduce unnecessary fees. Additionally, administrative staff time can focus instead on revenue-generating activities. Specialized healthcare data migration and archival experts bring extensive knowledge of extracting and mapping data, proven processes, and an intimate knowledge of your facility’s regulatory and operational requirements.
System transitions can present security vulnerabilities. That’s why it is worthwhile to work with a vendor who has the infrastructure to protect your data, a proven process to move your data securely, and the insurance coverage to mitigate risk. Established vendors know what is important to focus on from a data security and access standpoint and offer secure hosting. Less established vendors often do not have proven processes and expertise to understand security risks. An experienced vendor will know what risks your facility faces and will have the track record to be insurable to the degree your facility requires. Bottom line: when you work with an established vendor, you know you can count on thorough data security and risk abatement.
Choosing an expert healthcare data migration and archival vendor can save your hospital time and money, keep your clinicians happier and more productive, and give you peace of mind by eliminating security concerns. It’s essential to seek a vendor who has extensive knowledge of extracting and mapping data from your specific type of system, proven processes, adequate insurance, and an intimate knowledge of your facility’s regulatory and operational requirements. It will be well worth the investment to eliminate potential security vulnerabilities and ensure your system transitions are completed on time and on budget.
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