Data Archive

The Benefits of Data Archiving

Many provider organizations feel crushed by the pressure to cut costs while improving care. Too few understand how much money they could save through making wise choices in data archiving. We recently published a post about the basics of data archiving and KLAS’ plans to follow this market segment. Today, I’d like to ask my provider friends what they know about the monetary and other benefits of engaging with third-party data archiving vendors.

Question 1: Did you know you could save $100,000 in a single year by having a third-party vendor archive your historical data?

Providers must be able to access all patient information and other relevant data in order to provide good care and comply with regulations. A provider organization switching EMRs typically has three methods to choose from:

  • Paying the new EMR vendor to migrate historical data to their system
  • Paying the previous EMR vendor to continue running their tools with the historical data still inside them
  • Paying a third-party vendor to migrate, convert, and/or archive the historical data

The quickest and most complete fix may be to have the EMR vendor handle the migration. Unfortunately, EMR vendors know that, and many of them charge accordingly. Some provider organizations can’t afford to pay another hefty, up-front fee at the same time that they pay for new technology and an implementation.

That’s one reason that some provider organizations leave their data on their previous vendors’ technology. But when vendors charge $10,000 per month for such an arrangement, the provider organization may feel trapped between a rock and a hard place.

Engaging with a third-party data archiving vendor is probably the cheapest option for many providers. Such a vendor could charge a tenth of what the former EMR vendor would, and those savings would add up quickly. Saving $100,000 over a year could be a real possibility.

Question 2: Did you know that you would still be able to access your data if it were archived by a third-party vendor?

The incredible cost savings offered by third-party data archiving vendors have prompted many people to ask, “What’s the catch?” So far, KLAS hasn’t found a significant one. Granted, data living in the provider organization’s new EMR could be the easiest or fastest to view. However, many data archiving vendors have such good data-conversion processes that their customers have no real problems accessing the data.

In addition, a third-party data archiving vendor would have no incentive to hold your data hostage. EMR vendors don’t want customers to be able to leave easily. Many providers have shared appalling stories about their EMR vendors doing everything possible—including blocking access to the organization’s data—to keep the providers on a leash. Choosing a third-party vendor to archive data could help prevent such situations.

Question 3: Did you know that you wouldn’t have to miss out on collections for patients whose data is archived with a third-party vendor?

Data archiving vendors don’t just hold a provider organization’s patient histories. Some of these vendors can even maintain active A/R data. Provider organizations can continue collecting from patients who have outstanding charges, even if the patients’ data has been archived with the vendor.

I’m afraid to know how many organizations have failed to consider working with a third-party data archiving vendor for fear that they wouldn’t be able to keep access to active A/R data. From what I’ve heard, that fear is unjustified. One provider friend told me that their organization had collected millions of dollars in collections after archiving their revenue cycle.

I, along with my KLAS colleagues, want to help provider organizations make the best decisions they can for the good of their organizations and the patients they serve. Over the next few months, we’ll do some digging to find out which data archiving vendors offer the best, broadest, and highest-value services. And you can bet that we’ll let our provider friends know exactly what we find.