EMR Data Archiving – Issue with Virtualizing an Existing EMR

Issue with using VMWare and other Virtualization Programs

This is another popular way of providing the Physician with his/her older data – in the familiar setting of his/her existing EMR.  Some provincial bodies are even providing funding for this – as part of an archiving solution for Physicians who are converting to new EMRS.  The problems here are exactly the same as continuing to use the existing EMR.  The doctor still has to deal with licensing issues with the vendor to be able to legally use the EMR, thus possibly incurring ongoing costs.  And more important is the lack of a purging ability in the EMR being virtualized – thus exposing the physician to additional liability around retaining patient medical records that are no longer supposed to be in their possession.

However, by far the biggest problem with virtualizing an existing machine is that it violates the Microsoft Windows licenses!!  In effect it makes doing so illegal.  Basically, your Windows license for the existing machine cannot be legally virtualized into a Virtual Machine.  The only exception to this is if it was originally purchased under a “Volume License Agreement” – which is usually only done by larger organizations – and almost never by clinics and doctor’s offices.  And there is no way to transfer the license, etc.  So – the only way to virtualize an existing EMR – is to install Windows into the Virtual Machine and then install the EMR there as well.  Otherwise, the physician is taking on the risk of having an illegal copy of Microsoft Windows in their possession.  Similar issues arise around the virtualization of an Apple machine as well.  If you would like to know more about this issue, you can contact us directly.

Leave a Reply