Servers in the Attic: Sorting out your Legacy Data Retirement Projects

Vintage items in the attic

As healthcare organizations continue to upgrade to new EMR systems, there are more and more disparate legacy systems hanging around. The focus for many healthcare IT teams is on security, analytics and patient engagement as these areas have emerged as top areas for consideration in 2017. However, improvements to interoperability, workflow and usability also are key as reported in a recent survey in Healthcare IT News. As IT teams continue to integrate new features and move forward with migrating to new EHR’s, the question remains:

Has your data center become a server attic?

This is a question posed by Pete Rivera, FHIMSS, in this blog post.  As the Director of Informatics at Hayes Management Consulting, Rivera talks to a lot of healthcare CIOs about projects like a migration to Epic EMR or conversion to Cerner EMR. Inevitably, questions about what to do with all of the legacy systems left behind becomes a part of the discussion.

In his EMR retirement blog, Rivera poses a set of due diligence questions that set the foundation for any EMR Retirement project. The questions might be as simple as “which systems got replaced” and “how much is that system still costing us” to the more complex “what are the use cases for applications containing legacy data” and “what is the value of the data from a clinical and workflow perspective.” He also considers important topics like accounts receivable rundown and approaches for storing Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) files.

If your healthcare organization has recently gone through a system replacement, you will likely find Rivera’s EHR retirement post helpful. There are a number of EHR retirement consulting firms like his that are able to facilitate the prioritization of healthcare systems to decommission or to provide guidance on the governance of the patient data to be archived. If you don’t have the resources internally to manage this process directly with your EMR archiving vendor then vetting out consulting firms who specialize in legacy data management can be a great choice.

Ask us for a list of consultants that we’ve worked with in the past.

Editor’s Note: Some content is from a blog originally posted on May 28, 2015.

Aug 09 2018

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