In the first blog of this series, we attempted to answer a simple question: “What is an archive?” Well, as it turns out, the answer isn’t all that simple as the definitions, types and use cases of “archive” vary. We introduced the idea of the Archive Continuum and in our second blog, we reviewed low-functioning archives that basically serve as a “cold storage” option for data that doesn’t need to accessed frequently, if at all. We traveled to the opposite end of the spectrum in our third blog and explored high-functioning archives that offer lots of bells and whistles—basically one step below an EMR, i.e., “EMR-minus-one.” In this blog, we’ll explore the options that exist in between those two extremes, as well as their possible features and use cases.
A medium-functioning archive may allow you to print screens and perform simple release of information (ROI) requests. It may include some patient accounting functionality, such as posting payments and adjustments, getting agency extract files or printing statements and claims on demand. Some enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality, like storing and printing W2s or pay stubs, is also possible. Clinicians may be able to access discrete clinical data while charting completed visits or in preparation for a visit, but not while charting a current visit. They may even be able to post notes to the account or visit.
From a reporting standpoint, a medium-functioning archive may allow you to run pre-written reports that can be filtered or configured as needed, but not written from scratch. An example of this on a micro scale is filtering by transaction types in a Patient Accounting archive. On a macro scale, an example might be the ability to provide an analytics view showing clinical categories that align more with an enterprise strategy or that are configured differently than the incoming categorization
Finding your “just right” archive
Not sure where to start? In our next and final blog in this series, we’ll guide you through the steps that will set you on the right path for your organization’s legacy data.