Health Information Management

HIMSS Analytics: Data storage and archival are essential

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 17, 2014

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by Jaclyn Fitzgerald, Editor

Although data in hospitals is increasing, many are putting data at risk by failing to implement updated practices for data archiving and backup, according to a HIMSS Analytics study.
HIMSS Analytics surveyed 150 IT executives at U.S. hospitals for the Iron Mountain Incorporated-sponsored study. The majority of respondents said EHR/EMR implementation provided the biggest contribution to the growth of their organization’s data.
Half of respondents (52%) have a data archiving strategy in place. Of those with an archiving strategy, the majority (83%) stated that the strategy was developed for compliance. Approximately two-thirds (69%) of respondents have a disaster recovery plan in place.
The study states that technology adoption will likely increase due to Meaningful Use and HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model requirements, which in turn increases the need for data storage and archival strategies.
According to a HIMSS Analytics press release, the following actions can help hospitals improve data practices:
  • Establish clear policies for data storage based on the age and type of data. These policies will help hospitals tier data so they can select the correct storage medium.
  • Implement policies for data retention, destruction, and disaster recovery. Begin by prioritizing data that is critical to hospital operations and ensure it is stored at the correct tier.
  • Consider automation and outsourcing. Develop a data lifecycle management policy with the help of partners. Outsourcing can lessen the burden on hospitals.


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