Dissatisfaction runs rampant among EHR buyers. In fact, according to reports issued by KLAS, 40% of physician offices and 50% of large hospitals have changed or are in the process of changing EHR vendors.

These changes are often necessary to meet the needs of patients and physicians, but they also come with their own set of challenges. One of said challenges is often not knowing what to do with the data from the old system. Healthcare organizations create terabytes of patient data every year in the form of clinical records, lab results, imaging and financial records. To put that in perspective, a terabyte of storage could hold approximately 500 hours worth of video. State laws and the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require providers to store all of this information for years and sometimes even decades.

An Afterthought

As a result, data archiving should be a key component of any healthcare organization’s overall IT plan, but this isn’t always the case. It’s been our experience that healthcare provider’s spend substantial amounts of time and energy on the planning and implementation of their new EHR/EMR, while giving little to no attention to legacy data. As it turns out, we’re not the only ones noticing this trend.

Nathan Evans, the research manager for KLAS research. Nathan is responsible for the overseeing of research and reporting for legacy data archiving at KLAS. We had the pleasure of hosting him on our most recent webinar where he confirmed that this is a common issue.

Listen to Nathan speak about KLAS’s research findings on EHR data archival here.

He informed us that the neglect of attention to legacy data is a topic KLAS hopes to provide feedback on when they publish their 2019 KLAS Data Archiving Report. What they’ve seen so far in early conversations and preliminary research is that data archiving is almost an afterthought. He went on to say “So many resources are devoted to implementation, pre-planning and go-live, yet this massive mountain of data that a system stores up is often forgotten about until the eleventh hour. I had a call with a hospital c-level executive panicking because they had to choose a data archiving vendor in the next 60 days in order to meet their deadlines.”

In other words, an uneven distribution of resources plays a major factor in archiving data. Other times, hospitals are so focused on a new system that they don’t care about maintaining legacy systems until after things have quieted down and they realize just how much they’re paying for that maintenance.

The Challenge

The state and federal health data archiving regulations currently in place are extensive. When coupled with the high cost of data maintenance, this proposes a challenge for many organizations. A cloud storage service is often a great solution to these challenges. Cloud storage has minimal capital investment and backs up important data and frees up much needed on premise resources. In addition, the bandwidth costs associated with using cloud services are typically much less than the cost of maintaining and upgrading an internal data center.

However, before you trust a third-party cloud storage service with your private data, be sure they’re HIPAA compliant. HIPAA requires that personal data be protected by three safeguards:

  1. Administrative
  2. Technical
  3. Procedural

This is why so many organizations are turning to a third-party to archive their health data.

A Solution

If this describes you, we urge you to learn more about Triyam’s cloud-based data archival system, Fovea. Fovea makes it easy to access the data you need when you need it. Once legacy data is archived in Fovea, you can dismantle and retire the legacy EHR. This allows you to stop paying support fees to the legacy vendor.

The archived data is hosted in a secure, HIPAA compliant cloud environment. This means you never have to worry about running out of space, backing up, or maintaining the data.  In addition, queries and reports for Release of Information can be accessed from computers, laptops, iPADs, or mobile devices.

You can visit our data archival page for more information about Fovea and what it can do for your organization. While you’re there be sure to read our other articles and reach out with any questions you may have. 

To hear more from Nathan about KLAS’s research findings on EHR data archival click here.