Congratulations for a brand new EHR software for your practice. Now, you must be finding the right ways to get started with EHR Data Migration, right? Let us inform you that, migrating health data from your EHRs to more comprehensive EHRs is a complex process for which there are no clear guidelines, well-accepted studies, or consensual standards. Therefore, before initiating migration process, you must ask yourself a few questions to start with –
- Usability of your new EHR
- How will you migrate existing data to the new EHR?
- Who will be leading this time-consuming project?
- What information might be lost during migration?
However, there are surely many benefits that are well worth the effort of a successful migration of EHR data. The only concern is your approach to EHR data migration. If you approach it with the attentiveness it needs, you will set yourself up for successful data migration. If you get the whole thing right in the first time, then you will get the output you want from your new EHR software.
Usually, the data migration process can be broken down into five steps.
- Discover your parameters:
The discovery process is mainly to determine your responsibility for developing a good plan for your goals. It starts with choosing and deploying an IT staff who will be responsible for extracting data from the current system and uploading it to the new EHR. During the discovery process, you will get the answers to the below-mentioned questions which will help you decide how much data to import and what information is critical for a successful migration.
- How much data is available to convert?
- Is the current EHR vendor providing you with a sample data extract?
- How much data needs to be hand-coded in a structured format, and how much can be scanned wholesale?
- How much time the EHR data migration process will take?
- Data keyed by hand into the new EHR will be searchable or usable for data mining?
- How would you access scanned images, will it be static and can only be viewed as anindependent snapshot?
Also, you will need to make sure the data you are converting is clean and accurate. You do not want to migrate bad data into the new EHR system.
- Choose your data intelligently:
Understand and choose the data depending on how long your practice has been into business. You might have decades of data but you need to convert only what is necessary. All the stakeholders should have a common understanding of the data that can and cannot be migrated, as well as the workarounds necessary to deal with missing data and other EHR migration issues. Selecting essential data and method of data conversion will save your time and money. Your priorities will decide the overall scope of the project.
- Development and testing of data migration:
Once the scope of the project has been finalized, and the data has been mapped for the new EHR system requirements, you can now pass the responsibility to the new EHR vendor. IT staff of EHR vendors will start to develop the conversion of data and testing will be performed. Your EHR vendor would require to give attention to detail during the whole migration process. It will take a considerable amount of time and commitment from both, you and your EHR vendor.
The time required to perform an EHR migration will vary based on different factors, including the amount and quality of data to be migrated. Consider the following:
- Your and your EHR vendor’s availability to participate in certain activities (e.g. testing)
- Downtime and reduced practice efficiency while the data is being migrated
- Facilities available for testing such as – data, server, monitors and other hardware, etc
- During the process of migration:
While the migration is in the process, it’s the responsibility of both you, and your vendor to review and make sure that the migrated data is correct or not, is all the information in the right place? Double-check patient names, dates of services, links to financial practice management software, and interfaces with patient portals.
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In the end, however, it’s on you – Are you satisfied with the quality of data used for the final version? Do you find any document management issues? Do you wish to correct errors and audit data accuracy? You can ask your EHR vendor to check on a list of items that need to be addressed.
Once the migration is complete and all parties involved in it are satisfied, organize a closeout meeting to discuss the outcomes.
Also, during the migration process, make sure you have systems in place to either update current medical records or archive old clinical records to record patient data on the day before the final version goes live. This will ensure that the data captured can be reentered electronically into the new EMR.
- Final Migration:
Once you verify that all the data is accurate according to your needs, the vendor will execute the final migration of data to the live database, and your practice will go live.
When the new EHR is active, consider setting aside time before the practice opens for staff to get comfortable with logging in, looking at charts, and handling incoming calls.
During this whole migration process, you will be making so many important and tough decisions about how to handle the clinical data, the methods conversion, and the overall data migration. So, make sure you communicate each and everything with your EHR vendor. It is important to the success of the migration that communication flows freely between you and your vendor.
Patient data is the lifeblood of any medical practice, and migrating or converting that data is not a process to be taken lightly. Therefore, schedule the necessary time to spend on the project and work closely with your new EHR vendor and move forward as soon as you are ready.
If you are looking to switch an EHR that works for you and helps you focus on the quality of patient care then, iPatientCare’s EHR is one of the most popular electronic health record software. It is capable of molding itself to suit your needs, rather than changing the way you work. In iPatientCare’s EHR software, you can customize everything – from organizing the tabs in the patient’s chart to restructuring the visit notes, templates, dashboards, and the workflow. It is as easy as 1-2-3. The user-centric design and high-performance architecture allow you and your staff to work efficiently, leaving a lot of time for your patients.