Healthcare providers produce an ever-expanding collection of electronic health records and medical imaging data. Storing such a high volume of data can be challenging, and this is compounded by long-term retention requirements. As such, healthcare providers often search for creative solutions to data storage problems.
To give you a concrete example of the challenges, consider the hospitals that I used to oversee. At the time that I worked there, the organization had a policy of keeping each patient’s medical records for 10 years after the patient’s death. Through usage tracking, it was determined that if a patient died in the hospital, their medical records were accessed on a fairly regular basis for the next couple of months. After that, the records were almost never accessed again.
Here are some of the options I’ve seen in use by healthcare organizations:
- Storage area network (SAN)
- File server storage
- Network attached storage (NAS)
- Tape storage
- Cloud storage
- Robotic tape library
Whatever type of storage you decide to use, you will need data life-cycle management software that can automatically move data from one tier to another as the data ages. The software should also be able to automatically purge data when it is no longer needed.
About the Author
Brien Posey is a writer for EnterpriseEfficiency.com and a former CIO.