Cut Ties to Legacy Systems to Contain Costs, Increase Access to Valuable Data in a Post-COVID-19 World
When I wrote this for the Active Archive Alliance’s “2020 Predictions” blog late last year, I had no idea it would prove to be so prescient:
“In the healthcare space, M&A activity will continue to spur system transitions. Rather than treating legacy data as an afterthought, we’ll see more healthcare systems engaged in strategic and proactive enterprise-wide data management planning and embracing true information governance and data stewardship. Increasing demands for discrete data will drive the adoption of sophisticated archiving solutions that support a variety of reporting tools to meet emerging trends, including population health initiatives.”
Heading into the second half of the year, we’re already seeing an uptick in M&A activity. As the industry continues to right itself after the economic strain of the past few months, we’ll no doubt see more.
Hospitals, clinics and ambulatory surgery centers have re-opened across the country, but patient volume has not returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. As a result, driving revenue through elective procedures is underperforming and it’s likely to continue to do so until confidence levels recover. Organizations have little choice but to find new ways to contain costs. Managing data more strategically is one way to do that.
Healthcare is an industry that tends to hold onto its data – especially clinical data. Unfortunately, it’s done so at great expense. Keeping outdated systems online merely because of the legacy data stored within them is not efficient, nor cost-effective. These systems have outlived their support and as such, present security risks and require considerable time and effort from staff resources to maintain.
The time is now
Healthcare organizations don’t need these legacy systems. They need their data. Yet, implementing solutions to better manage legacy data usually draw the short straw in terms of IT project prioritization. Until, that is, the organization either chooses to implement a new electronic health record or other HIS or has one thrust upon them following an acquisition. And, truth be told, even when a system transition drives a data archiving project, it takes a backseat as organizations often wait months, if not years, before implementing an archive solution. This is no longer an option.
The global pandemic significantly changed the healthcare landscape and paying thousands – if not millions – of dollars in annual licensing fees for duplicate systems to serve no purpose other than to store legacy data is a luxury no healthcare system can afford.