Data Lookup in a Legacy EHR System a Thing of the Past

Data Lookup in a Legacy EHR System a Thing of the Past

Alternatives to Performing Data Lookup in a Legacy EHR System

Brad Benson
CEO at Health eFormatics

Physicians need patient information available at their fingertips regardless of whether the information was recorded in the current EHR system or a legacy system.  A discrete data conversion can be performed so that the legacy data is placed directly into the current EHR.  However, more times than not the legacy data is left within the old system, requiring physicians to login to yet another system in order to access all of the critical patient information.  This costs them time and causes frustration.

Three alternatives to performing an EHR data lookup from the legacy system include:

  • Converting the data from the legacy system directly into the new EHR
  • Creating summary reports of the patient information and importing them as documents into the new EHR
  • Linking directly to a legacy data archive from the new system

Although moving the data discretely into the new EHR system does yield the easiest access and greatest use of legacy data, it can be both cost-prohibitive and time-intensive.  Creating summary reports from the legacy system makes the data available within the new system.  However, these reports can be large, making it difficult to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for.   Archiving the legacy data into an archive solution allows physicians to link directly to the legacy data from the current EHR, giving instant access to the patient information needed to make a clinical decision.  An archive also has several other advantages, including:

  • Significant savings  and faster implementation time over a discrete data conversion
  • Data remains discrete in the archive, allowing for legacy information to be reported on
  • No ongoing support costs to keep the legacy EHR up and running

Because of these advantages, many practices are choosing to go with the legacy archive solution.  If the current EHR can pass along patient context when making the link to the archive system, this data can then be accessed with a single click!  A patient archive solution for your legacy data should be strongly considered if a discrete conversion is cost-prohibitive or time-sensitive.

Brad Benson is the CEO of Health eFormatics, a company that specializes in EMR/EHR data conversions.  Learn more at