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Why You Should Be Archiving Your Legacy EHR Data

As your healthcare organization looks to the future, you may be wondering what to do with your legacy EHR data. After all, you’ve invested so much time and effort into building up this data — why let it go to waste? Not to mention, there are a variety of compliance concerns to keep in mind when it comes to legacy EHR that can’t be overlooked either.

Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about why you should be archiving your legacy EHR data. We’ll also cover when to take this step, as well as the common challenges of maintaining a legacy system with a new EHR.

When to Archive Your Legacy EHR

First, it’s important to understand when the time is right to archive your legacy EHR data. In general, you’ll want to consider archiving when you’re no longer actively using the system — for example, when you’ve switched to a new EHR or when legacy data is no longer needed for reporting purposes.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have a legacy system that’s still in use but will be retired soon, you may want to start archiving data now in preparation for the decommissioning. The same goes for systems that are being used less and less — if it’s only a matter of time before they’re phased out, it may make sense to start archiving now.

As your organization works on retiring a legacy system, it’s important to have a plan in place for how data will be handled. This is where legacy EHR data archiving comes in — by having a centralized location for all legacy data, you can ensure that it’s properly managed and protected while still being accessible when needed.

Let’s talk more about why it’s so important to take this step.

Why Archive Your Legacy EHR

You know you should be archiving your legacy EHR, but do you know why this matters so much? As it turns out, there are several reasons.

For starters, legacy data can be essential for compliance purposes. In many cases, legacy data needs to be retained for a certain period of time in order to meet HIPAA and state regulatory requirements. And if this data is stored in a legacy system, it can be tricky to keep track of and manage.

Additionally, legacy data can be important for reporting purposes. Even after a legacy system is retired, data from that system may still need to be accessed for things like trend analysis or quality improvement initiatives.

Access to legacy data is also important for patient safety. Archiving patient legacy data from an EHR can provide quick access to medical records including drug allergies, past encounters, and surgical history. 

Last but not least, archiving legacy EHR data can help you avoid potential problems down the road. If your healthcare organization or facility is ever faced with a lawsuit or audit, having all of your data in one central location will make it much easier to provide the necessary information — and it will also help to ensure that no data is lost or misplaced in the process.

Why An Archive Is Better Than a Legacy System

You know you should be archiving your legacy EHR, but do you know why this matters so much? As it turns out, there are several reasons.

For starters, legacy data can be essential for compliance purposes. In many cases, legacy data needs to be retained for a certain period of time in order to meet HIPAA and state regulatory requirements. And if this data is stored in a legacy system, it can be tricky to keep track of and manage.

Additionally, legacy data can be important for reporting purposes. Even after a legacy system is retired, data from that system may still need to be accessed for things like trend analysis or quality improvement initiatives.

Access to legacy data is also important for patient safety. Archiving patient legacy data from an EHR can provide quick access to medical records including drug allergies, past encounters, and surgical history. 

Last but not least, archiving legacy EHR data can help you avoid potential problems down the road. If your healthcare organization or facility is ever faced with a lawsuit or audit, having all of your data in one central location will make it much easier to provide the necessary information — and it will also help to ensure that no data is lost or misplaced in the process.

EHR Archiving Benefits

Next, let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of this process.

As we’ve already discussed, legacy EHR data archiving can help you meet compliance requirements, improve reporting capabilities, and avoid potential problems down the road.

In addition, legacy EHR data archiving can help you save money. By storing data in an archive, you can eliminate the need to maintain a legacy system and give you the option of ongoing support fees without making this a requirement. This means you won’t have to pay for software or hardware updates, compliance fees, or other associated costs.

Finally, legacy EHR data archiving can help you improve your workflow. When all of your data is stored in one central location, it will be much easier to find and use. This helps increase productivity and efficiency.

Get your healthcare data archiving checklist here.

Challenges of Maintaining a Legacy System With a New EHR

Now we’ve talked about the importance of legacy EHR data archiving. So, let’s take a look at some of the challenges you face if you’re maintaining a legacy system with a new EHR.

The first challenge is data compatibility. Legacy systems often use outdated formats that are not compatible with newer systems. This can make it difficult — or even impossible — to transfer data between multiple systems.

Another challenge is duplicate data entry. When you’re using two different systems, you might find yourself having to enter the same data into both systems. Naturally, this can be time-consuming and frustrating.

Finally, you also have to worry about training employees on how to use both legacy and new systems. This can be a challenge, particularly when two systems are not compatible.

Conclusion

Legacy EHR data archiving is a process that can help you meet compliance requirements, improve reporting capabilities, and avoid potential problems down the road. While there may be some initial leg work in archiving your legacy EHR, the benefits of this process make it well worth the effort. Not sure where to begin? We encourage you to work with a healthcare data conversion specialist like Two Point who can help you assess your needs and develop a plan for moving forward.

Contact us today to learn more.

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