By Paul Barry, Vice President
One of the advantages of working closely with hospitals and healthcare networks is seeing first-hand what their content and data management challenges are.
Over the past several years, we’ve completed more projects in healthcare than any other industry. This work has been driven by several years of strong M&A activity and consolidation in healthcare. According to HealthLeaders, there were “803 mergers and acquisitions along with 858 affiliation and partnership announcements last year, a trend that is not expected to slow in 2019.”
Along with a merger or acquisition comes a new reality in the organization’s application portfolio: the combined organization may now have an overlapping set of systems. One of these is in the area of electronic health records.
Following a merger or acquisition, or the implementation of a brand new EHR, all staff may move to a single enterprise EHR. While the move to the common system is underway, what isn’t being accounted for is:
- How hard it is for clinicians to access all patient records, when data resides not only on the main EHR but also on a legacy system. Difficulty accessing patient records in real time for a complete view of the patient can directly impact care.
- Security of data residing on legacy EHRs or aging servers. The IT department needs to maintain security updates and monitor these systems as carefully as it is the production EHR. This adds to the data management burden, which no organization can neglect.
- The cost of keeping legacy EHRs in “read-only” mode. Organizations that keep old EHR systems running typically continue paying licensing, maintenance, and support costs. This takes valuable budget away from other initiatives.
- The compliance risk of multiple retention systems and policies. Patient records need to be retained, protected, and monitored across multiple systems to accurately track and safeguard Personally Identifiable Information (“PII”).
- The impact to HIM teams, specifically their ability to respond to release of information requests, audits, and litigation events. With information on multiple systems, it takes longer and is harder to ensure all the required information is accounted for.
What’s more, revenue cycle management teams who are collecting on outstanding patient accounts may be tracking multiple accounts in multiple systems. Not only is this complex, but in many cases the patient account information residing on a legacy EHR has been the reason some organizations are holding onto EHRs that they don’t actively use any more.
A Solution for Legacy EHR Data Management
To respond to each of these needs, Flatirons is pleased to introduce Flatirons Digital Hub for Healthcare. Our new clinical informatics solution moves patient information from aging or redundant EHR systems to a consolidated repository, providing secure and efficient access to legacy EHR data from a single location.
Flatirons Digital Hub for Healthcare:
- Lets clinicians access all historical patient information from one place.
- Helps HIM staff respond timely to release of information requests, audits, and litigation events.
- Lets revenue cycle management teams track AR burndown from legacy EHRs.
- Helps risk and compliance teams improve security, records management, and governance for legacy EHR data.
- Lets IT departments decommission legacy EHRs to recoup valuable budget.