Is your current Electronic Health Record (EHR) software being sunsetted by your vendor? Many vendors may choose to sunset their current software and product options when new software has been developed or when they undergo acquisitions and mergers within the EHR system market. Your vendor may be inheriting or developing more advanced technology which may result in multiple EHR options under their umbrella. When this occurs, most vendors will choose to sunset the less modernized EHR systems as they are either no longer able to support multiple EHR options or are choosing not to.
Either way, for your health organization, finding out that your EHR is being sunsetted can come as both a surprise and an unforeseen difficulty. While most vendors are phasing out an older or lesser system, their plan is to convert all EHR users to their new EHR system. However, you should not feel obligated to convert to their new system if it does not offer the options and support your organization is in need of. You always have the option to convert to a new system before the sunsetting of your current system. Is Your EHR being sunsetted?
If your EHR is being sunsetted, you have likely already received notification from your vendor about the upcoming transition to more modernized software. You have likely been sent detailed information about the system changes – we recommend educating yourself on the new system proposed by your existing vendor as well as vetting new vendors to ensure that your organization is converting to a system that aligns with the needs your organization has set forth.
Whether you are converting to your vendor’s new proposed EHR software when your current software is sunsetted or you’ve chosen to convert to a new EHR with a different vendor – you still have decisions to make with what to do with your legacy data. Most vendors, including your current vendor, will recommend and oftentimes require that only a certain number of years be brought across to your new system. This leaves you with a few questions to answer – 1) What information will you bring across to the new system? 2) What will you do with your legacy data that you need to maintain for compliance and patient care that cannot be brought to the new system?
Every organization makes decisions about what data to bring across to the new system prior to the data conversion process. Some healthcare organizations choose to bring across the maximum amount of data the vendor will allow to the new system to keep the most recent data in the new system for convenience purposes and patient care. Other organizations choose to maximize storage on the new system and only bring across data from the last one to two years.
Working with healthcare data management specialists, such as Two Point, will allow you either option. If you choose to bring across the maximum amount of data – Two Point will work with you and your new vendor to determine what data can be brought across. Your vendor will provide specifications on how the data must be formatted along with other pertinent information such as what data is accepted by the new vendor.
If you choose to bring over less data than what is allowed with the vendor – Two Point can assist with options for storing required data for long term storage and accessibility.
One of the biggest questions your health organization faces when your EHR is being sunsetted is what to do with your legacy data.
If you choose to maintain your sunsetted legacy EHR, it is important to understand that your vendor is choosing to no longer maintain these software systems for a reason. This may place your organization at risk for compliance fees or fines, cyber attacks, and increased IT expenditures to maintain this system on your own.
If on the other hand, you are seeking archival options for your legacy data, Two Point offers archiving options in addition to your conversion to the new system. The archive acts as a long-term solution for legacy data storage. After over 30 years of working with healthcare organizations, Two Point has established a comprehensive list of required data that can be housed in their ACERT™archive application. The archive would include patient and provider information including images, documents and encounters, along with other relevant information.
The ACERT™ archive has multi-faceted benefits including consolidating disparate databases, divisions and companies into a single normalized reporting system. The application supports both structured and unstructured data while meeting retention demands of State Board and HIPAA regulations.
Archiving your legacy data also serves the benefit of reduced cost long-term. Two Point’s archiving options do not require on-going support fees, unlike maintaining your sunsetted EHR system. Static archives allow organizations to have their disparate legacy data loaded into the archive for a one time per archive cost, whereas maintaining the sunsetted system oftentimes requires ongoing fees and potential fines for compliance errors.
The decision of what is right for your organization is not one to be made with haste. Schedule your archive demo with Two Point and discuss what your organization’s options are before deciding.
We also discuss different strategies for managing legacy data in this post.
When choosing an option for legacy data, there are a few vital considerations to keep in mind.
The first is to ensure that any legacy data that is kept is properly secured. This includes ensuring that the data is encrypted and stored in a secure location.
Another key consideration is to make sure that legacy data is compliant with relevant regulations. This includes HIPAA compliance for protected health information (PHI). In addition, legacy data should also be checked for any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that may be subject to other regulations.
Finally, it’s crucial to consider the costs associated with each option for legacy data. This includes the initial cost of conversion or migration and the ongoing costs of storage and maintenance. Organizations should weigh the costs against the benefits of each option to choose the best solution for their needs.Often the cost of a single fine proves that an archive pays for itself.
When it comes to legacy data, there are several options available to healthcare organizations. The best option depends on the specific needs of the organization and the data itself. In most cases, one of three options will be the best fit: data conversion, legacy data archiving, or maintaining the sunsetted EHR for storage.
Organizations should consider some important considerations when deciding about legacy data, including security, compliance, and cost. By considering all of these factors, healthcare organizations can make an informed decision about how to best handle their legacy data. Making these decisions on their own can be challenging. However, relying on the expertise and experience of Two Point, organizations can make informed decisions when it comes to their legacy data options.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your healthcare legacy data options.