Building a Healthcare Data Archiving Strategy: 5 Steps


November 24th, 2020

Building a healthcare data archiving strategy is critical for your organization. Learn the five steps you should take to develop your archiving plan.

data archiving strategy

Healthcare and data; it’s a familiar combination in a digital world. The more data you generate and collect, the harder it becomes to manage your health information system (HIS). Due to medical record retention requirements, you can’t completely purge old files. Instead, it’s critical for your organization to have a healthcare data archiving strategy. 

If you don’t have a strategy or if the one you have isn’t serving your needs, it’s time to reset and consider best practices so that you meet regulations and compliance mandates. 

By following these five steps, you can build a plan that’s practical and effective.

Step One: Define Parameters

The first step is to define the parameters for what kind of data you’ll archive. You could segment this by the age of the record, active vs. inactive patients, or types of records. You’ll need to decide what data should stay within your pharmacy or EHR software. Everything else you can archive in a way that it’s still accessible so that your current system runs smoother. 

Step Two: Determine the Process

Once you have identified what data you want to archive, you need to determine how you’ll archive. There must be a transfer of data from your current platform to an archiving platform. Will you do it one time? Or regularly, like every six months or year? It depends on the amount of data you have and how you operate. 

Step Three: Ensure Your Data Archiving Strategy Is Part of Your Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan

Every organization should have a disaster recovery/business continuity plan. These plans document how you’ll proceed in case of an event that causes you to lose access to your technology. That means you must account for how you’ll backup archived data. Look for a platform that includes a backup as part of the deal so that you never “lose” your data.

data archiving strategy

Step Four: Choose an Archiving Platform

Now that you have a plan fully forming on the what and how, it’s time to select an archiving platform. There is no shortage of options on the market, but few of them are healthcare-centric, which should weigh on your decision. Healthcare data is unique compared to any other industry, so you need a solution that understands these nuances. 

What to Look For:

  • Web-based system that’s accessible from any internet connection.
  • Cloud-based so that it’s secure and has a backup.
  • HIPAA and HITRUST compliant
  • Easy to use, so your staff can learn it in a few minutes
  • Encryption methods for data while in transit and at rest.
  • Permission levels to allow some users different access.
  • Search and filtering functions to find what you need quickly.
  • Ability to handle all types of data—records, files, and images.
  • Audit reporting feature.

Step Five: Start Archiving

You now have a documented strategy and a chosen archiving platform. Now, all you need to do is begin the process. But your team doesn’t have to worry about migrating data to the archive. Your archiving partner extracts the data from your current software or a legacy system and funnels it to the archive. Depending on the types of data or images, some custom programming may be necessary, so make sure you have a vendor capable of this. 

Trust InfoWerks to Help You Build Your Data Archiving Strategy

Did you know that InfoWerks has archived over 5 billion healthcare records? That number keeps growing every day as we help pharmacies, hospitals, healthcare systems, and dentists safely and securely archive. We do it all with our affordable, user-friendly, and scalable product—ViewMaster. See how it works by watching our video then requesting a demo

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