Let’s agree, at least for this blog, that data archiving refers to the relocation of legacy data from various, often disparate applications to a repository for long-term retention and storage. Of course, there are nuances with this definition, too, as there may be varying needs to access the legacy data, and each access option requires different technology, which may be offered at various costs. And, while data archiving may mean one thing to one healthcare professional, it will mean something else to another.
Sigh. So much for not adding even more complexity to this already complex discussion.
One word, so many meanings
From this, it’s easy to appreciate that “archive” is a fluid definition that changes from person to person, and from use case to use case rather than a single, static concept. “Archive” exists on a continuum, and one that spans the entire data archiving space as the term ultimately allows us to describe various concepts and use-cases so that we can navigate the complex regulatory and compliance rules that must be followed.
In future installments of this series, we break this “definition continuum” into three use cases and explore how each impacts your organization:
- Simple cold-storage solutions where data is simply held for compliance and regulatory requirements
- Active data archiving solutions that are one small, but crucial step below an active data access system (i.e., an EMR)
- Those use cases that fall somewhere in between these two extremes that may combine various pieces-parts of each.