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Developing a Strategy to Manage Legacy Data

As your healthcare organization grows and ages, so does the amount of legacy data you need to manage. If you don’t have a strategy in place to address this legacy data, it can quickly become overwhelming and lead to problems down the road.

Today, we’ll discuss the many reasons your organization needs to develop a strategy to manage legacy data. We will also discuss how to create one to ensure all of your bases are covered.

Why Legacy Data Strategies are Important

Here’s why you need a legacy data management strategy in the first place:

  • To ensure compliance with regulations: Legacy data must be managed in accordance with all applicable guidelines. Without a strategy, it can be difficult to ensure your legacy data is compliant.
  • To improve efficiency: A legacy data management strategy can help you streamline your processes and improve efficiency. Having a plan in place will help you avoid duplication of effort and wasted time spent searching for data.
  • To improve decision-making: Legacy data can provide valuable insights to help you make better decisions. But if this data is not managed correctly, it can be challenging to find and make use of the data.
  • To reduce costs: legacy data management strategies can help you save money by reducing the amount of storage space required and improving the efficiency of your processes.

Creating a Legacy Data Management Strategy

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of legacy data management strategies, let’s look at how to create one. Here are some key steps to get you started.

Create a System Inventory

Begin by creating a system inventory. This includes a list of all legacy systems, the data they contain, and how this data is currently being used. This inventory will help you itemize all the legacy systems being utilized by your organization and will provide you with a thorough understanding of where all of your data is currently being stored. 

Financial Forecast

Next, you will need to estimate the costs associated with legacy data management. This includes the costs of storing, managing, and retrieving data. You will also need to factor in the cost of any compliance-related activities. It is also worth noting the expenses associated with IT labor and maintaining the legacy systems in their current state. With this information on hand, you can budget for the project and determine whether legacy data management is a priority for your organization.

System Prioritization

Now it’s time to prioritize your legacy systems. Begin by identifying which systems are the most critical to your organization and which ones can be decommissioned later for various reasons, such as lower maintenance cost or infrequent usage. This helps you focus your resources on the legacy data that’s most important to your organization.

Your decommissioning schedule can be based on many factors, including go-live dates, accounts receivable wind-down schedules, the age of the system, the amount of legacy data it contains, and its importance to your organization.

Analyze Legacy Data

Then, it’s time to analyze the data you’ve collected. Taking full account of the inventory, budget and system prioritization can help you determine how best to approach your legacy decommissioning strategy. It will be useful during the next phase of your strategy planning.

Outlining Your Strategy To Manage Legacy Data Document

Lastly, you will need to develop a roadmap for legacy data management. This roadmap should include a timeline for decommissioning legacy systems, migrating legacy data to new systems, and implementing new data management processes and procedures. By developing a clear roadmap, you can ensure your legacy data management strategy is executed effectively and efficiently.

There are five critical components to include in the outline of your legacy data strategy document: project charter, findings, stakeholders, options, and recommendations.

Let’s talk about each of those next.

Project charter

This document section should include an overview of the project as well as the overarching goals, objectives, and scope.


The findings section should detail the results of your audit of legacy data. This includes a description of the data sets, their relationships, and their business value.


The stakeholders section should identify all individuals and groups who have a vested interest in legacy data management. This includes decision makers, end users, IT staff, and compliance officers. Identifying stakeholders will allow you to leverage their feedback prior to finalizing your legacy strategy to ensure that the information they need access to is included in your archive. 


The options section should present a range of options for legacy data management. These options should be evaluated based on their costs, benefits, risks, and feasibility.


The recommendations section should provide specific recommendations for legacy data management. These recommendations should be based on the findings of your analysis and the options presented in the options section.

Collaborative Execution

Finally, we come to the collaborative execution component of developing a strategy to manage legacy data.

It’s important to note that legacy data management is not a one-time project. Rather, it is an ongoing process that your organization should revisit on a regular basis. As such, it is crucial to establish a team of individuals who are responsible for legacy data management. This team should include representatives from all stakeholder groups.

The data management team should meet regularly to review the status of legacy data, identify gaps in the strategy, and make adjustments as needed. By establishing a collaborative execution plan, you can ensure that your legacy data management strategy is executed effectively and efficiently.

Additionally, creating a collaborative relationship between the healthcare organization and the legacy data management vendor is critical to the success of the legacy data management strategy. The vendor should be involved in all aspects of the strategy, from analysis and planning to execution and monitoring.

These are the critical components of developing a strategy to manage legacy data. By following these steps, you can ensure that your legacy data is managed effectively and efficiently.

Contact Two Point today for more help with creating a plan for your healthcare organization’s legacy data.

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