Healthcare providers generate a massive amount of data annually. The projected amount of data generated in the healthcare industry globally was 2,314 in 2020. Those stats were estimated before the pandemic. So they must have been exceeded due to the massive digitization of healthcare worldwide. Data from imaging tests quickly accumulates and poses a storage challenge for many hospitals. As the data accumulates, the the need for electronic health records archiving increases and providers may invest in additional on-site storage facilities to compensate.
While these servers are easy to reach, they pose several operational challenges such as:
- Space Constraints
- Operational and Maintenance Costs
- Security of Data
- Poor Scalability
- Legacy Data Management
Fortunately, there are various strategies to overcome these challenges, including the following:
1. Store Data in Cloud-based Databases
Cloud-based databases can expand continuously without the need to worry about space constraints. Your cloud provider can increase your storage quota at a moment’s notice.
While internally stored databases may give the impression that you won’t have any downtimes, it’s not a guarantee. Both in-house and cloud-based services may experience downtimes.
However, recovery for cloud-based databases with automated backups may be faster.
2. Use the Strongest Encryption and Access Controls
One reason for storing patient data on in-house servers is to achieve tighter security. However, this is seldom true for legacy data and applications.
These applications are usually neglected until they are needed. IT staff seldom put in the effort required to renew anti-virus software or add security patches and updates. Unfortunately, this neglect can cause severe data breaches.
On the other hand, your organization can implement robust access control and encrypt all data in transit or storage with cloud-based applications and data.
3. Choose a Flexible Storage Plan
Storage needs for EHR data need to be scalable. A flexible cloud storage plan will allow you to increase your storage for archiving and backups, while you can also reduce your storage space for live data when you purge your database of data that you don’t need to keep.
A flexible plan allows you to pay for precisely what you need. That way, you don’t have to spend money maintaining in-house storage space to keep redundant data.
4. Develop an EHR Data Archiving Plan
As EHR data accumulates, the system becomes unwieldy, slowing down access times to critical data. Unfortunately, deleting patient data can’t be done casually because of data retention laws and legal requests for information.
That’s why it is essential to create a reliable data archiving plan. This will make it possible to automate archiving of certain types of data.
For instance, your plan may specify that imaging data from CT scans, MRI scans, and X-rays should be archived after six months. This will make it possible to purge some data and improve access times.
5. Work With a Migration Specialist
Managing healthcare data requires the expertise and assistance of a data management specialist. Most internal IT teams are already overstretched, so they can’t put in the time and effort needed to manage legacy data or carry out extensive data migration projects. By partnering with a data migration expert, your organization can design, develop, and implement a data archiving program that will meet organizational goals and satisfy regulatory requirements.
Get Expert Assistance for Electronic Health Records Archiving
Contact MediQuant at 844.286.8683 today to book a free consultation on EHR data management. Visit our contact page now to discuss your needs and schedule a free demo of our EHR data archiving solutions.