Re-Engineering Healthcare Legacy Systems: 4 Best Practices to Follow

Summary

In 2022, legacy infrastructure and age-old application monitoring tools are still being used by 86% of companies worldwide, especially by those in the healthcare space. But using and maintaining legacy tech is becoming a monumental struggle, one that companies are slowly realizing that they will inevitably lose. Therefore, it would be in their best interests to re-engineer existing systems with agility, security, and interoperability in mind. However, to do so, these 4 vital practices must be followed to the letter:
1. Retire Unsupported Systems to Patch Out Vulnerabilities
2. Create Archives for Improved Accessibility
3. Preserve & Leverage Meta Data for Legal Purposes
4. Make the Move to the Cloud

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Legacy infrastructure and age-old application monitoring tools are still being used by 86% of companies worldwide, especially by those in the healthcare space. Sure, these systems may still get the job done but it comes to the cost of security and interoperability. And as healthcare organizations become more prominent, the problems present within the legacy systems only multiply.

It’s not uncommon to find even large healthcare companies struggling to maintain scores of legacy apps and archives. At some point, the realization would dawn on them that it might be in their best interests to re-engineer existing systems with agility, security, and interoperability in mind. If you’re a healthcare leader looking to re-engineer your healthcare systems, here are 4 best practices you need to follow:

Retire Unsupported Systems to Patch Out Vulnerabilities

Legacy systems are the best entry points for hackers. This is because cybercriminals know that most legacy systems have stopped receiving patches and security updates from their IT vendors. They are unsecured and yet contain valuable patient data that is worth a fortune on the dark web, i.e., potentially upward of $1,000 per record in the current climate. That’s why it is important to assess the security risks posed by these systems and make a plan to retire them permanently while retaining patient-sensitive data.

Create Archives for Improved Accessibility

When evaluating accessibility requirements, healthcare companies must identify the data needed by the hospital staff before anything else. The importance of creating interoperable access to data is mission-critical for re-engineering existing healthcare systems.

The best way to do that is by considering an archival repository for your legacy data that fits with your long-term data management plan. We recommend making use of an active archive platform that provides clinicians with easier access to patient records from within the hospital’s newly deployed systems.

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If the data is not required for clinical continuity but rather needed only to fulfill information requests or satisfy legal requirements, a static archive would be better suited. Whatever the case, ensure that the type of archive chosen meets your projected accessibility needs.

Preserve & Leverage Meta Data for Legal Purposes:

Medical evidence is the deciding factor in any personal injury lawsuit. The nature and extent of the injury suffered can easily be understood by data mining from relevant medical records. The metadata present within these medical records is becoming increasingly valuable in medical malpractice cases. It helps the court of law identify any alterations made to the medical documentation after treating any injury suffered by the defendant.

This helps establish a timeline and gives an insight into the nature of the care provided to the plaintiff, thereby making available the legal evidence needed to establish or deny medical negligence. Therefore, preserving metadata is vital for healthcare organizations to protect themselves from false legal ramifications while also maintaining the integrity of electronic health records at their disposal.

Make the Move to the Cloud:

After retiring legacy applications, it’s time to move your healthcare systems to the cloud. Cloud solutions are care setting-agnostic, secure, and scalable. Using cloud technology, hospitals can move away from expensive hardware and software upgrades, to smaller, more incremental software updates with a more transparent total cost of ownership (TCO).

By reducing the time spent on lifecycle management of healthcare systems, hospitals will be able to redirect their staff’s energies to strategic new initiatives that improve the quality of life for patients under their care.

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What To Look for In a Cloud-Based Solution

Cloud-based solutions in healthcare are no longer just about storing patient information – it’s also about enabling the right care, to the right patient, at the right time.

When it comes to choosing a cloud-based solution, healthcare providers will benefit most from the ones that help visualize data in a user-friendly way, generate actionable clinical insights to power effective decision-making and ensures the integrity of patient data stored.

Why Choose Adtech?

Adtech is a tech consultancy composed of seasoned technologists, expert developers, and thought leaders in the healthcare space. Our teams have more than half a century’s worth of experience in the fields of product engineering, product consultation, and enterprise software implementation.  Utilizing a product-centric approach, the Adtech team can create cloud technology platforms that are personalized, scalable and unique to your specific needs. We also pledge to provide you with a level of customer service unparalleled in the healthcare industry. If this has caught your attention then drop us a line at info@adtechcorp.io

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