In the healthcare technology space, ask someone what “archive” means, and depending on who’s using the term and what their intended use case may be, you’ll get a different answer from nearly everyone. The very definition of the word “archive” is fluid – and as a result, exists on a continuum.
After your organization implements a new patient accounting system, your staff still have to work down the AR from your legacy system. If you must continue to operate (and pay for) the legacy system you’ve just replaced to do so, you’re taking a significant hit to the return on your new investment. It’s a recurring hit, too, as it can take years to zero out your books. And, by keeping legacy applications that have outlived vendor support, you’re increasing your organization’s exposure to risk.
The terms data conversion and data migration are often used interchangeably. And, while this is incorrect, there are plenty of blogs and articles out there explaining the difference between converting data (changing it from one format to another) and migrating data (permanently moving data from one location to another) that will set you straight.
Rather than add to the conversation about their definitions, we’re going to talk about why it’s not enough to talk about data conversion or data migration without also considering data archiving.
Tens of billions have been spent on new EMR and Pop Health software in the last two years. Billions more will be spent in the years ahead. Tens of millions in fines have been levied for PHI breaches. Millions more will be levied in the years ahead. Billions more have been spent on maintaining legacy systems. What’s at the center of it all? Data. How do providers, collect it, protect it, archive it and make it useful for providing care?