Simplify Application & Storage Migration

How to ensure that application replacements or storage upgrades do not impact on healthcare services and care delivery.

Applications change. There is a lot of competition out there offering new features, improved functionality, competitive pricing, etc. So it’s inevitable that healthcare organizations will consider replacing their incumbent applications with new ones. With larger systems, this could happen every 7 to 10 years; with smaller applications, this is likely to be more frequent. And it’s similar when considering a healthcare organization’s storage environment. The only difference here is that it’s likely to change every 3 to 5 years. But how does a healthcare provider protect its services when undertaking an application or storage migration, minimizing downtime and ensuring continuity of care?

Challenge 1
“I replace my clinical applications around every 7-10 years; migrating the data is the biggest headache!”

Technological advance in healthcare systems is commonplace. New applications solving clinical issues are regularly introduced; updates in features and functionality occur across a multitude of healthcare applications and legacy systems become old, antiquated and in need of replacement or updating. Consequently, every 7 to 10 years, healthcare applications both clinical and administrative are replaced or upgraded. But, how can an organization deploy a new or updated application without the typical problems associated with migrating the data from the old to the new system? And, how can the facility do this without impacting healthcare operations and the delivery of patient care?

The Answer

In order to achieve a smooth transition of data between your legacy and new application, you have to remove the dependency between the application itself and the management of the data that it creates. BridgeHead’s HealthStore™ offers an Independent Clinical Archive (ICA) that ingests the data (including meta-data) from all manner of applications ranging from medical imaging systems such as Radiology and Cardiology Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) through to Laboratory Information Systems (LIS), from Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) to Electronic Medical Record (EMR) applications. HealthStore is invisible to the applications that create data and a key benefit is that departmental applications do not need to change and can continue to operate as they have done. Once a copy of the data resides in the archive, when it comes time to change the source application, migration is no longer an issue. The new application is aware of the changes and new content by a simple manifest.

To find out how to better manage your application refresh cycles, and to end painful data migrations, read more about BridgeHead’s HealthStore™ →

Challenge 2
“Every time I replace a storage device (every 3-5 years) I have to temporarily take applications down impacting hospital operations”

Storage environments change with relative frequency. Legacy systems cannot keep up with the ever-evolving healthcare data landscape, they are supported by the hardware vendors for limited time periods, and quickly become obsolete resulting in their being ‘end-of-lifed’. There is a constant stream of new innovations in hardware devices and media from a wide range of storage providers. Storage capacities are increasing, speed of data transfer is improving and new features and functions are being introduced. Add to that the commoditization of the storage market and the consequential reduction in pricing and there is good reason for hospitals to change their environment every 3 to 5 years. But, how can healthcare facilities take advantage of these benefits without impacting service levels – whether from hardware replacement or the migrating of data from one device to another?

The Answer

BridgeHead’s HealthStore™ Independent Clinical Archive (ICA), also known as a ‘next generation Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), is a middleware solution that acts as the custodian of a healthcare organization’s data. It brokers the information that passes back and forth between the applications and the storage hardware. As a consequence, when a hardware device is upgraded or replaced, the data movement from old to new device is managed at the archive level and is totally transparent to the application, which continues to have access to its data throughout the transition.

Learn how to efficiently manage your storage refreshes and eliminate disruption to hospital operations with BridgeHead’s HealthStore™ →

Challenge 3
“We’ve acquired a new healthcare facility, with all of its systems. But how can we eliminate duplicate applications without losing data?”

Mergers and acquisitions of healthcare facilities is becoming more common. And, once the process is in flight, the realization that you are likely to have duplicate systems doing the same job needs to be addressed. It makes no sense to keep both applications running – clinicians will need access to all of the data (logging into two separate systems is highly undesirable), there is an administrative overhead you can do without and the costs of running, maintaining and supporting dual systems is significant. So, how can you ensure the smooth transfer of data from one system to another so as not to lose important patient and administrative information, while allowing you to consolidate your applications, without impacting care delivery?


The Answer

By using BridgeHead’s HealthStore Independent Clinical Archive (ICA), which fully supports open, healthcare data standards, organizations can centrally store, protect and share their patient and administrative information. So, in the case where there are duplicate applications, BridgeHead’s HealthStore can ingest the data from both systems, indexing the content and meta-data as it is written to the archive. This data can then be easily interrogated and presented back to any application (provided it supports the appropriate standard). This then allows the healthcare organization to decide on the applications it wants to keep and those it will no longer use.

For more information on how to intelligently aggregate and index data from multiple sources, read more on BridgeHead’s HealthStore™ →


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