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Growing medical practices deal with huge volumes of data, much of it in the form of EMRs. EMR archival systems allow you to leverage all that information in a way that is cost-effective and easily accessible. According to KLAS, companies can save as much as $100,000 per year by utilizing a third-party to store their healthcare data.

Furthermore, it’s often necessary to retrieve information from older health records. Too often, clinics and hospitals cannot accomplish this without running two different platforms, which creates a host of inefficiencies and may compromise the integrity of EMRs. With archival systems, you can retire legacy platforms to better streamline workflows. Additionally, by containing information in a structured format, archival systems improve continuity of care, which is especially important as the demand for health services in the US increases.

Archiving involves several phases. First, providers must move the data from the old system onto the new platform. Then, that information has to be converted into a code that is easy to store and can be integrated with new information. When that has been accomplished, the next step is to archive the medical records. There are two ways to do this: static and active. Most providers prefer the latter because the information is easy to access should they have to collect past-due payments or track a patient’s medical history over a long period of time.

What to Look for in an EMR Archival System?

When considering which archival system is the best fit for your company, there are seven questions to ask yourself and your team.

  1. How does the system operate? In the realm of healthcare, there is no one-size-fits-all IT solution. System requirements will vary based on the practice or specialty. For instance, technology requirements for a hospital or health system are vastly different than those of a primary care clinic. Look for features that can be easily scaled to meet your needs. Keep in mind that Web-based options give you the added convenience of being especially low-maintenance– you don’t have to keep up with software updates.
  2. Is the platform user-friendly? Switching between platforms, especially in the days of less sophisticated technology, almost always resulted in considerable workflow disruptions, frustration, and lost productivity as clinicians and office personnel learned how to use new software. Today’s solutions include user-friendly interfaces that actually motivate your team to engage with the technology. While your staff will still need time to master the new system, the transition will be much easier, with automated solutions that can be customized for optimal ease-of-use. Intuitive systems can perform a variety of functions, such as entering patient information and scheduling appointments, with a minimum number of clicks and keystrokes.
  3. What practice management features are available? Systems that are versatile and easy-to-use will simplify the task of integrating disparate sources of data. Web-based platforms allow for an unlimited number of users to access the system. Likewise, cloud storage makes it possible to archive virtually unlimited amounts of data. These features prove invaluable if you expect to grow your business, your company spans multiple locations, or you need to share information with other providers.
  4. How do you import data into the new system? As already mentioned, you will likely need to incorporate information from older EMRs onto the new platform. Before you choose an archival system, learn about how it enables you to transition from legacy systems.
  5. Will the system ensure compliance with privacy protocols? It’s imperative that you select an EMR archival system that ensures compliance with privacy laws– namely, HIPAA. As we’ve seen with recent cases involving Facebook and Google, the threat of data breaches is at the forefront of public consciousness, leading to tougher legislation requiring companies to tighten their security standards– or face serious consequences. Furthermore, as data becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, health systems will need to go to greater lengths to protect sensitive information. Cybersecurity is becoming especially challenging as more patients expect to access their records electronically from multiple devices.
  6. What about other requirements? To comply with federal regulations– and be eligible for certain financial incentives– your EMR platform must align with Meaningful Use standards. Keep in mind, too, that different states have varying regulations regarding how long providers need to retain health records. In some instances, it can be as much as a decade or more.
  7. What kind of tech support is available? Implementing a new program should never be a completely DIY endeavor. A high-quality vendor will provide ongoing support to help you make the transition as seamless as possible.

GDS provides practical healthcare IT solutions and EMR archiving solutions that not only meet your needs now, but help you adapt to ever-evolving developments in healthcare that can affect revenue cycle management and service delivery. We’ve consulted with industry leaders to create commonsense solutions that allow you to improve productivity and cut costs while optimizing patient care.

Are you looking for an efficient, cost-effective way to switch between different EMR platforms?

Do you want to merge legacy EMRs with a more up-to-date application?

If so, look no further than EMR archival. This versatile solution takes the hassle out of storing and integrating electronic medical records.

GDS works with Local Hospitals, Covered Entities and Business Associates Across the United States.

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