In the event of a merger or acquisition, one of the roles of the chief information officer (CIO) is to evaluate technologies from both healthcare entities to determine which go-forward data systems to use. That includes clinical, revenue cycle, ambulatory, enterprise resource planning (ERP), general ledger (GL), accounting and other ancillary systems. In the Hospital M&A transition, one way to reduce cost, labor and risk on the IT side is to decommission data systems that get replaced.FierceHealthIT has published articles on why CIOs are critical in hospital M&A and how balancing IT needs during health data system mergers can’t be an afterthought. The articles discuss how CIOs must compile the software licenses and service agreements of both entities, including information on the usage scope of the licenses, price for additional or reduced usage and termination provisions. These efforts help CIOs with important decisions, including which license agreements to combine, which ones to terminate and which ones to expand. These efforts ultimately lead to cost savings.Leaving legacy systems up in read-only mode to meet long-term medical record requirements typically keeps costs up due to long-term software maintenance contracts. It may also entail user access issues, a continued labor burden on IT analysts and technical risk with an aging operating system and server. As most mergers and acquisitions cause the displacement of one or more systems, creating a strategy for legacy data management is a must — especially if additional Hospital M&A activity is planned. If more mergers or acquisitions are on the horizon then putting a solution in place that securely consolidates protected health information from multiple EMR data sources is a must.At Harmony Healthcare IT, we perform EMR data extraction from legacy systems, complete the clinical data migration and normalize it in a relational database and make it accessible in an easy-to-use, browser-based viewer for years to come. If your healthcare organization has or will go through a merger or acquisition, visit HealthData Archiver® to learn about long-term storage of PHI for both ambulatory and acute care systems as well as HR, GL and accounting data. Editor’s Note: This blog contains information from an earlier post on July 16th, 2015.