With more than 1,000 vendors offering solutions, the $28 billion electronic medical record (EMR) industry is competitive. Recent industry articles with titles like “Is a takeover of athenahealth inevitable?” support the notion that mergers and acquisitions are consolidating the number of EMR vendors in the space — and, subsequently, the number of EMRs. According to a 2017 report by Kalorama Information, we are likely to continue to see consolidation as certain EMRs emerge and dominate as front runners in the integration space since there is not a single EMR system with a true interoperability solution.
CIO’s and IT teams at healthcare providers worldwide are keeping an eye on EMR vendors like athenahealth, which are potentially ripe for acquisition by the larger and better heeled competitors such as Epic, UnitedHealth Group, Cerner and IBM, according to the Healthcare IT News article referenced above. We’ve seen similar EMR acquisitions in the past when CPSI completed its acquisition of Healthland.
As the EMR industry continues to consolidate, a series of questions permeate the minds of hospital CIOs: what are my options if my EMR vendor joins the list of acquired companies? Will the EMR brand stay on the market? Will it eventually get retired? If so, what then?
Archiving is a steady solution in a turbulent EMR market
Should any combination of your EMR products be acquired or sunset over time, data archiving is always an alternative to the more costly and complex EMR data conversion. A well- planned legacy data management strategy alleviates future IT costs, risks and burdens as platforms come and go. Long-term medical data storage vendors who know the EMR market inside and out offer secure solutions that ensure data integrity and meets HIPAA and state medical record retention requirements.
When you look at the real cost of maintaining multiple legacy systems, including licensing, maintenance and support as well as the associated internal IT labor burden, the ongoing management of outdated systems becomes difficult to justify. Plus, the risk exists that the old systems may become obsolete and non-supported. Keeping the organization’s long term vision in mind, there is business value and strategic benefits to adopting an EMR archive to keep legacy data intact in a searchable, manageable and HIPAA-compliant format.
Harmony Healthcare IT as an EMR archiving partner
The team of data management experts at Harmony Healthcare IT can help when the strategy is to migrate disparate legacy patient or employee data sources into a single, secure archive. Complete return on investment usually is realized in 18-24 months. Should you need to decommission any of your legacy systems, contact us.