The amount of patient health data is increasing exponentially, which means the amount of legacy EHR data is skyrocketing as well. As healthcare IT expectations continue to evolve with Health Information Exchanges (HIE) offering secure patient data storage within a care community, it is smart to put a strong medical data storage solution in place that provides similar one-stop access to historical patient records.
Health Data Volumes to Increase by 48% Annually
A report from EMC and the research firm IDC offers a few imaginative ways at visualizing the health information proliferation, anticipating an overall increase in health data of 48 percent annually. The report pegs the volume of healthcare data at 153 Exabytes in 2013. At the projected growth rate, that figure will swell to 2,314 Exabytes by 2020. To paint a picture, the authors of the report suggest storing all of that patient data on a stack of tablet computers. By the 2013 tally, that stack would reach nearly 5,500 miles high. Seven years later, that tower would grow to more than 82,000 miles high, bringing you more than a third of the way to the moon!
At these projected growth rates, healthcare data is soon expected to reach the zettabyte and yottabyte scale. For reference sake, 1 zettabyte is equivalent to 152 million years of UHD 8K video format and 1.4 yottabytes, which is the largest decimal unit prefix in the metric system, is roughly equivalent to the mass of all the oceans. Further, about 80 percent of the world’s healthcare data is unstructured which means there is a lot of room for technology advances.
Healthcare organizations are faced with managing this tremendous amount of patient medical data along with an increased demand for real-time access to complete patient records. In conjunction, they must streamline their application portfolios to decommission legacy applications and keep protected health data stored and accessible for compliance, research and reporting. A legacy EHR medical data storage archive is an intelligent decision as part of an overall health data management strategy for saving on legacy system maintenance cost, labor burden and technical risk.
Making Archived Patient Data Available to HIEs
Many healthcare organizations have implemented, or are in the process of working with private or public HIE solutions that enable numerous healthcare organizations to securely store and share medical data for their patients. The federal government has incentivized participation in HIEs, offering states grants to form them and medical providers extra money if they sign on. According to a study by University of Michigan researchers, patients were 59 percent less likely to have a redundant CT scan, 44 percent less likely to get a duplicate ultrasound, and 67 percent less likely to have a repeated chest X-ray when both their emergency visits were at hospitals that shared information across an HIE. A patient data archive can also be made available to the HIE and further benefit patient care.
Having a solid legacy medical data storage plan is a smart step forward in managing historical patient and operational data well into the future. This solution offers compliance with the numerous local, state and national regulations and a single, easy to use solution for historical information. As healthcare systems streamline their go-forward systems to integrated solutions, having a single archive provides easy, one-stop-shop access to historical patient, HR, GL and accounting records.
About Harmony Healthcare IT
Since 2006, health IT analysts at Harmony Healthcare IT have extracted demographic, financial, clinical and administrative data for hundreds of healthcare providers – both ambulatory and acute. Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, the company employs experts in data extraction, migration, archival, integration and analytics to provide its clients with trusted and seamless data solutions. Working with hundreds of systems, billions of records and terabytes of data, Harmony Healthcare IT provides clients with access to historical records. Simply.