The EHR mergers and acquisitions landscape has led to fierce competition among vendors, with Epic and Cerner dominating the market. As these vendors merge, they often lack legacy data migration, requiring maintenance and extraction. To address this issue, it’s crucial for affected providers to implement a legacy data management strategy. EHR archives offer long-term cost and ease-of-use benefits, making them an attractive alternative to cost-prohibitive conversions.

Chessboard With Wooden Blocks Showing Mergers And Acquisitions Concept

Right now, the EHR mergers and acquisitions story is like an action movie full of adventure.

The output of new standards and interoperability requirements has created fierce competition between EHR vendors to see who can evolve their product the quickest and best. It’s this kind of competitive environment that leads to survival of the fittest which means, naturally, only some EHRs will weather the storm – but which ones?

In recent years, following numerous M&As, the number of EHR vendors has dwindled from 1,000-plus a decade ago to approximately 400 now, according to KLAS Research.

In fact, ONC data and other independent research outfits estimate that Epic and Cerner account for approximately a 50% share in the Acute Care Hospital Market. This is mostly among larger hospitals, but the footprint continues to expand even in hospitals with <200 beds. With the trend toward hospital-physician employment, it’s no surprise that Epic and Cerner are dominating the market.

As the landscape is molded by mergers and acquisitions, consistent EHR replacements are following suit. However, these go-forward EHR solutions often lack one thing – legacy data migrated over from the displaced system. This means that either the legacy system will need to be maintained so read-only PHI can be accessed to ensure retention compliance, or that the data in the system will need to be extracted and archived.

The problem with leaving the former EHR solution up in read-only mode is not only that maintenance fees still apply but that, over time, technical risk on an aging system looms. That’s why, as the EHR market continues to consolidate and sunset certain products, it’s smart for affected provider EHR users to put a legacy data management strategy in place.

Benefits to legacy data archiving

In any of the following scenarios, it’s likely that legacy data archiving is an attractive alternative compared to the more cost prohibitive legacy data conversion to a new EHR:

  • If your EHR vendor merges with another EHR vendor
  • If your EHR gets sunsetted or the vendor goes out of business
  • If your healthcare facility decides to switch to a new EHR for functionality purposes or so it can better meet its clinical documentation needs

When you look at the real cost of maintaining multiple legacy systems, including licensing, maintenance and support as well as the associated internal IT labor burden, the ongoing management of outdated or displaced systems becomes difficult to justify. Add in the risk of old systems becoming obsolete and unsupported, and it’s clear that the business value and strategic benefits of adopting an EHR archive to keep legacy data searchable, manageable, and HIPAA-compliant is in the best interest of your organization’s long-term vision.

Has your organization been affected by an EHR vendor merger or acquisition? Are you switching to a new EHR as a result?

Now is the time to investigate the long-term cost and ease-of-use benefits an archive solution like HealthData Archiver® brings to the table.  Check out how a solution like this can preserve legacy data in a safe, secure and searchable solution.

Apr 17 2019

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