Many healthcare providers have to keep multiple health legacy system options. The systems are kept up and running because providers must comply with medical record retention regulations. Unfortunately, retaining so many legacy systems puts providers at risk of not delivering the desired information when needed.

Also, many of these systems are running on outdated and unsupported platforms. Today it is not uncommon to see providers with systems running on Windows 2000, XP, or Windows 7. Some also have servers running Windows Server 2003 and 2008, which Microsoft no longer supports.

There’s an urgent need to deal with the inefficiencies caused by multiple healthcare systems. Providers need to replace or re-engineer their systems to efficient cloud-based solutions to meet HIPAA security requirements and demands imposed by COVID-19 and remote care.

This article offers tips to help providers reduce the risk, burden, and cost of keeping many health legacy systems.

1. Do a System Audit

Create a detailed list of all legacy systems in your organization. Open a new spreadsheet and put together details about each system.

Some of the specifications you should write for each system include:

  • Product and brand name
  • Name of vendor
  • Version
  • Size of database
  • Number of images stored
  • Location of server
  • Operating system
  • The annual cost of maintenance
  • *Date retired
  • Frequency of use (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)

The information in this spreadsheet will enable you to choose the systems you need to retire urgently and those that can be attended to later.

2. Develop an Information Management Strategy

Create a strategy that will guide your decommissioning initiatives. Sketch how the information will be moved from old legacy systems into active or live archives in the cloud.

Bear in mind that health records are different from financial records. So different rules will apply to systems containing various types of records.

3. Plan to Retire Old Systems

After your audit in step 1, you may discover that you have dozens of systems to manage. Legacy EHRs, LIS, RIS, billing, accounting, blood bank, ambulatory EMR, and many other systems may be scattered around your organization.

Instead of maintaining all these disparate systems, concentrate on bringing the essential data together and keeping data in an active archive. Then create a project plan to decommission redundant information systems.

4. Minimize Data Management Cost

Considering the cost and risks involved in legacy system management, creating an archive is a wise business decision, and it will save you thousands of dollars annually.

Your archive will also save you the potential cost of maintaining outdated hardware, software, and legal fees if a breach occurs. In some cases, it saves providers the cost of office space and other related expenses.

5. Comply With Security Requirements

Isolated systems that the OS vendor no longer supports pose a significant cybersecurity risk, and they are cheap entry points for cybercriminals and hackers.

This is the time to retire aging, outdated systems and replace them with cloud-based HIPAA-compliant platforms. Investing in an efficient and secure platform today will continue to deliver cost savings year after year.

Reach Out to a Health Legacy System Decommissioning Expert

If you want to end the burden, high cost, and inefficiency caused by health legacy systems, call MediQuant now at 844.286.8683. You can also book a free demo of our data archiving solution on our contact page.


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About the Author:
Founded in 1999, and headquartered in Brecksville, Ohio, MediQuant provides industry-leading data archiving solutions and comprehensive system transition data management services to help hospitals and health systems liberate their data from legacy clinical, patient accounting and ERP systems. Its flagship product, DataArk, available as a cloud-based or an on-premises platform, provides users the ability to access and work with legacy data without the legacy system security risks and expense.