Getting a new EHR is exciting. You can quickly get wrapped up in the bells and whistles of the new system. Before you get too deep in into the new – you need to consider the status of your legacy EHRs and how to safeguard both employee and patient data. It’s critical that you recognize your legacy EHR for the holy grail of personal data that it holds.
Here are a few reasons you need an archiving system for your legacy data.
Data Visibility in One Place
You might think that leaving data just where it sits, in multiple systems, is the easiest solution to legacy data. However, archiving all of these systems gives you the ability to put all patient or employee records in a single location. This simplifies access to the data. A single location also enables you to fill requests for reports and release of information quickly.
Of course, not all archiving systems are created equally. Consult with an industry expert to find a system that works for you and meets all of your needs.
It’s common for some facilities to have more than 20 legacy systems. A single EHR archive system eliminates individual costs for each system and gives you one location and one expense. You might be surprised to learn that most facilities see their return on investment in as quickly as 2 years.
Ease of Data Management
Having data silos can create unnecessary challenges when you need to sort and find information. Setting up and transitioning your legacy data to one system is the perfect time to clean and purge unneeded files, which may save you both money and headaches in the future.
Quick Data Discovery
You need to know where legacy documents such as text docs, spreadsheets, and other files are being housed. These documents can be critical to the daily operation of your organization, even if they don’t contain PHI. Having to search through five old systems to find necessary documents is both time-consuming and inefficient.
Minimize the Risk of Breach
Multiple systems increase the risk of security breaches, especially if they are old systems running on old unsupported operating systems and hardware. Human error is the usual culprit when it comes to small security breaches. More substantial breaches typically happen because of hacking. No matter how or why the violation occurs, it’s been proven that having more than one system to maintain increases your risk.
Meet Record Retention Requirements
You might be required to keep records for as little as seven years or even into perpetuity, depending upon the state. Securing documents far into the future can be challenging because already old platforms will continue to age. Operating systems corrupt and servers degrade over time leading to at-risk security. All of these moving pieces can make record storage requirements difficult, and place you at risk of state and federal fines.
Planning for an archiving system isn’t nearly as exciting as preparing for your new EHR. However, creating a single, robust archival system now can save you time, energy, and headaches for years to come.