Cutting Costs with Legacy Data Archiving - Cover

Cutting Costs with Legacy Data Archiving

In one of our latest COVID-19 reports, providers told KLAS that though many healthcare organizations are cutting back on costs, health system expansion is not one of them. Only 2% of organizations report a complete stop in expansion. As mergers and acquisitions happen and health systems continue to expand, legacy data archiving presents the opportunity to shut down expensive legacy systems while keeping the necessary old data. In this way, legacy data archiving is essentially a cost-savings measure, something that has become even more important for health systems during COVID-19.

KLAS recently spoke with providers who have used this service to shed more light on vendor performance and best practices in legacy archiving. I am excited to share their insights in our Legacy Data Archiving 2020 report.

Why Use a Legacy Data Archiving Service?

Since our first report in this area in 2019, many providers still don’t know that it’s possible to get an out-of-the-box solution to archive legacy data. Some are attempting to develop in-house archives or are simply spending the money to keep their old solution running. By comparison, third-party legacy archiving vendors make legacy data easy to access when needed. Their solutions are more efficient and save money that health organizations would be spending to maintain multiple systems.

It is important to note that legacy data archiving isn’t really seen as an expense by those who have used it. Instead, it is seen as something that needs to be done in order to save the health system money in the long run.

Three Recommendations

Ultimately, everybody knows that not dealing with the problem creates a more complex scenario. As a CIO, you cannot forever deal with disparate systems, especially in complex organizations. So in the report, we highlight three provider recommendations for selecting a vendor in this space.

First, define the size and complexity of the project. How many systems do you want to archive and from how many different sites? How much data is there? Once you know how complex your project is, then take a look at the vendors. Who can handle that project scope to help you get the data archived so that you can shut down legacy systems?

Second, focus on the extraction timeline. A CIO’s heaviest lift is extracting and mapping the data into the archive. The more complex the project gets, the more a vendor is likely to miss deadlines and cause headaches for the health system.

Third, focus on functionality and ongoing support, or what customer satisfaction looks like after the implementation. Can you easily access the data once it is in the archive? Each vendor solution has slightly different functionality, but we find that customers are mostly satisfied when it comes to functionality and tangible outcomes.

tangible outcomes vs needed functionality

The Potential of Legacy Archiving

The whole point of using a legacy archiving service is to get old data archived so that the organization can shut down legacy systems. This remains the focus. But there is some additional discussion about where it could go in the future. Healthcare organizations could consider how they will continue to use the data and how it could play into the bigger picture of patient care. As more health systems adopt AI, it is clear that the more data they have, the better. Archived data, even though it is older, will definitely be pertinent to AI algorithms and the patterns they look for. At least some health systems are thinking about how the data is stored and whether it will be easy to access in the future for applications.

We can also consider how legacy data archives play into interoperability. By connecting with and being viewed through other platforms, an archive could potentially provide a single point where a physician or health system can look at a patient's entire record.

To see which vendors would do best with your organization’s specific archiving needs, I recommend reading the report.

     Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, Feodora