How to avoid becoming a ‘legacy system junkyard’

The constant churn of information technology applications is creating new security and financial risks that health care organizations—including laboratories—must systematically address, IT experts say.

Organizational mergers, acquisitions, and the replacement of lab information systems, electronic health record systems, and other solutions often lead to a “legacy system junkyard” of little-used yet costly applications, according to Steve Davis. He is manager of enterprise archive and decommission at Dignity Health, a San Francisco-based health system with 40 hospitals in California, Arizona, and Nevada, and hundreds of outpatient clinics in 17 states.

In 2013, Davis helped lead an IT application decommissioning project at Dignity Health that resulted in the archiving, purging, or storing of 62 applications, the recovery of more than five terabytes of data, and the decommissioning of 390 servers. That has helped save the health care system $4.5 million—so far. The Dignity Health team plans to retire a total of 192 applications and sees a potential for saving nearly $10 million over five to six years.

My latest in the Newsbytes section in CAP TODAY. Read the whole shebang.