Flatirons Digital Innovations – Take out IT costs to fuel world-class care


The DFW Hospital Council posts guest blogs by our Associate Members. The following was provided by Flatirons Digital Innovations.

By Frank Hughes, Healthcare IT Specialist, Flatirons Digital Innovations

As the cost of providing world-class healthcare continues to rise, healthcare organizations face ongoing challenges to support their patients, clinicians and practitioners.

One of the biggest challenges that carries a significant underlying cost is in the management of patient data—from medical records that form a comprehensive view of patients’ medical history, to patients’ billing and payment records, and more.

Healthcare providers are squeezed between adopting and consolidating on new technologies, such as Epic and other systems that enable electronic medical records, to modern billing systems that streamline the financial operations of healthcare.

Add to this the ongoing pace of mergers and acquisitions, along with the consolidation of clinicians’ practices into larger organizations, and what results is often overlapping and sometimes silo’d systems that drive up the cost and complexity of delivering outstanding patient care.

In fact, in many organizations, more than half of the IT infrastructure is made up of aging legacy systems. These systems are often kept in read-only mode because healthcare organizations are subject to regulations that govern the access and retention of data on these systems.

Move beyond a “do-nothing” strategy
Many organizations are stuck in a “do-nothing” mode regarding legacy applications, often because it can seem easier to avoid dealing with a problem that has developed over time than proactively find a solution.

However, the drawback of maintaining legacy systems is that it can result in millions of dollars in annual licensing, maintenance, and support fees. Plus, keeping patient information scattered across multiple EHRs impacts care because clinicians cannot easily get a comprehensive view of patient data.

How data archiving and application decommissioning help
Data archiving and application decommissioning can take out the high costs of maintaining legacy applications while moving legacy data to a modern archive. This gives clinicians easy access to patient information on both your current EHR and information in the archive while strengthening compliance capabilities.

Flatirons works with healthcare organizations to develop data archiving and application decommissioning strategies. We have helped acute care hospitals, academic medical centers, hospital networks, and national health systems develop and implement data archiving strategies—migrating multiple terabytes of data from aging systems to a secure, compliant, and scalable archive and dramatically reducing IT budgets in the process.

Applications we have decommissioned include:
• EMRs/EHRs;
• Human Resources applications;
• Billing statements applications;
• Explanation of benefits systems;
• And more.

Data archiving and application decommissioning projects are some of the most efficient IT projects that organizations can undertake, with most applications being retired in only a few months. More importantly, they can deliver considerable savings over several years.

Visit our website to learn more.

Frank Hughes is an executive healthcare IT specialist with Flatirons Digital Innovations. He is based in San Antonio, Texas.