Physician Turnover Rates Increase, Need for Health Data Archive Rises

Physician Turnover Rates At An All-Time High

According to findings released 3/18/13 from the 8th annual Physician Retention Survey from Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), physician turnover rates are at an all-time high.  As physicians depart or retire from a practice, the need to archive electronic protected health information (ePHI) of patients rises.


The report finds physician turnover reaching the highest rate since the first year data was collected in 2005.  Medical groups reported an average turnover rate of 6.8%, up from 6.5% in 2011 and 5.9% in 2009 at the depth of the recession.

Medical groups do not expect turnover relief in the next twelve months.  Retirement among an aging physician workforce was cited as one reason. 36% of reporting groups expect the pace of retirements to increase in the coming year.  A second statistic cited is a rise in physician turnover from those who have recently joined a small group practice.  The average turnover rate for physicians in their second to third year of practice in a small group is 20.8%.

Need for Data Archives on the Rise

So, what happens to the patient data of a retiring or departing physician? When physicians leave a practice, there are steps to be taken to ensure proper and continued access to historical medical records. One such step may include a written custodianship agreement. A custodial agreement identifies who will retain medical records and the retention period for which they will be kept. A second step may entail an electronic health data archive.  A health data archive can ensure the security, integrity and confidentiality of the records to comply with state and HIPAA regulations.

Given the increasing physician turnover rates, the need for electronic health data archives is on the rise. When searching for a solution, departing physicians should consider the following product attributes:

  • FEATURE: a secure, browser-based application that adheres to HIPAA security requirements
  • BENEFIT: anywhere, anytime access to data
  • FEATURE: normalized, relational database storage of both discrete data elements and images
  • BENEFIT: searchable patient information with reporting capabilities across the patient population
  • FEATURE: a scalable, long-term storage repository with an intuitive user interface
  • BENEFIT: secures decades worth of data for years to come in an easy-to-use format which requires little to no training

For more information about health data archiving, visit or contact Harmony Healthcare IT, health data archiver specialists.

Source for Physician Retention Survey findings: The WallStreet Journal

Mar 26 2013

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