Storing patient information has always been a tough challenge for healthcare providers. While various data archive software solutions have been developed, figuring out how to choose a solution is a challenge as well.
Today, CIOs and health information managers are often inundated with options when searching for health data archive software. Scrolling through online websites to find the most suitable option that will best meet your organization’s needs for secure, compliant and cost-effective archiving healthcare data can be overwhelming.
Most healthcare data archiving solutions will claim to have:
- Access control
- HIPAA compliance
- Storage and retention management
- Data migration
- Document extraction
- Activity dashboard
But, are there other features that matter more, or at least as much as these, that’ll make one archiving solution stand out?
To make it easier for you to choose the best archiving software for your organization, we’ve compiled a short list of key features you should look for while doing your research.
1. Organized Search, Filter and Data Display
Good archiving solutions are more than ‘electronic storage cabinets.’ They help you find the right information quickly. With a multi-data point search, you can find records by patient name, ID number or social security number.
Data filtering allows you to sort records using a particular field and display the results in ascending or descending order.
2. Templates for Record Retrieval
Having to generate a copy of a long medical record may be frustrating and time consuming for health information management staff. Creating pre-defined templates for each set of common record requests – those received by attorneys, employers, or payers, for example – reduces the time and effort required for individual record retrieval.
To further improve productivity, multiple record request templates can be created to speed bulk record requests.
3. Capability to Set Retention Rules
Effective archiving technology should enable you to set data retention and destruction rules for the medical data stored within it. Setting record retention policies allows you to determine various ‘if-then’ conditions to keep or purge records when certain conditions are met.
Your archiving solution should have a flexible system for creating record purging rules and exceptions. For example, some of your criteria for purging records may include date of birth, document type, date of last discharge and other criteria required to comply with internal and statutory medical record retention regulations.
4. Quick Access to Archived Data
Asking clinicians to request information at the point of care is not an efficient way to access legacy data. Instead, your archiving solution should integrate with your new EHR system. Single-sign-on functionality ensures only authorized users access the data and eliminated the need for clinicians to manually login to another system to access the archived data. Once signed in to the EHR, they gain access to historical patient records through the active EHR interface to make more informed care decisions while treating patients.
5. Customized Reporting
Whether it’s for research or an audit, you’ll need to create custom reports from your archive. Your archiving software should provide a database connection interface or an API to create custom reports. This should be complemented by a batch export or printing module to extract records for audits.