As a clinic transitions from its existing electronic medical
record (EMR) to a new EMR solution with a qualified service
provider (EMR vendor), patient information will need to be migrated
to support continuity of patient care and clinic operations.
As not all patient data will be able to be migrated between the
two systems, there is a need to retain legacy data, known as
Under the Health Information Act and the College of
Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Custodian Policy, patient
information must be retained for a specific period of time. Data
that is not migrated into the new EMR solution will need to be
retained through alternate means to ensure physicians are meeting
their medical and legal obligations.
POSP supports three options for data retention:
- A complete data export per patient, including audit logs, to
printable PDF format can be placed on a local server to ensure
accessibility within the clinic or the PDFs can be reattached to
the appropriate patient records in the new EMR solution.
- A complete record output of all patient data will be stored in
a relational database. A relational database consists of a
collection of tables that store particular sets of data using
common characteristics within the data set. This database uses a
structured query language (SQL) that standardizes the structure and
data definitions that allow the database to be fully
- A read-only copy of the current EMR can be used to archive
current patient records and audit logs. The cost, duration and
level of support will need to be negotiated with the existing EMR
vendor. Some vendors may offer a records retention service, which
uses an application service provider repository for use by the
physician. The information within the existing EMR may also be
virtualized as a records retention option, of which licensing costs
may still apply.
Download Records Retention