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Published on Dec 4, 2013
Health information exchanges, accountable care organization, patient center medical homes, the Affordable Care Act, these are major initiatives that the government is promoting, and lots of organizations are, uh, heading down on their own. When you're moving into these areas, one thing to recognize is these -- all of these initiatives have insatiable appetites for data. And when they have these insatiable appetites for data, the data is coming from more than one place. Gone are the days when you can be an EHR and that's all you had, or you just have a revenue life cycle manager, and that's all you have.
Today, any typical hospital environment, even a medium sized one, will have 50 to 60 IT systems that have data in them. You need a comprehensive, aggregated, unified approach to managing that data. So you want to be able to say, "Okay, fine, if you have 50 or 60 systems, that's okay, but we're going to back them up the same way. We're going to archive them the same way. We're going to pull the data into an environment so that it makes management of that data much, much easier in the long-term." So what that doesn't necessarily mean is you don't have to go and say to every one of your vendors, "Hey, we need to come to a homogenous database structure. We're going to put yourself in a big data warehouse. That's never going to happen. It's going to be a -- that's a $100 million deal."
Don't worry about that. Worry about three things. One is how is that data being stored today, and can I outsource that or move that into an environment in which, uh, the storage is managed for me, how am I going to back it up -- and of course, you want to move that into an approach that is similar or identical across all of them, how am I going to archive it. And once you move and say that I'm application independent, I'm imaging system independent, I am EHR independent, and I have a unified approach, now your auditors, your compliance people, they don't need to be told that this is coming from 14 different applications or 50 different applications. You just have one comprehensive approach, just like when an EHR writes to a disk drive, it doesn't know how many platters there are and how many disks it has, et cetera.
You shouldn't need to worry about backups and storage and archiving. There should be a unified approach that you come up with, and everybody just follows that rule because it's a centralized, uh, way of doing business, and that'll save you in time and money. But more importantly, all your applications will have their data when it's necessary in a disaster recovery time, or a compliance audit or a HIPAA audit or something like that happens. You know you can trust that that data is going to be around.