For a healthcare service, switching from one EHR (electronic health record) system to another may be a very disruptive and anxiety-inducing procedure. The requirement of EHR Data Migration from the current system to the new one is sometimes one of the biggest challenges.
However, a solid partnership with a technology provider and a thorough grasp of the data transfer process may help you overcome this obstacle and make the switch to a brand new EHR effective.
Here are simple guidelines on how to perform a successful EHR Data Migration:
1. Identify a Seasoned Vendor Partner
Search for a vendor partner with expertise migrating data from your existing EHR provider in addition to locating an EHR system that satisfies the operational and functional requirements of your health system.
2. Pay Attention to Your Personnel’s Workflow
The new EHR won’t operate in exactly the same manner as the previous one. Make sure the new EHR provider is aware of and able to handle the different processes in your health system, including those for billing, scheduling, doctors, pharmacists and other professionals.
Make sure that the new system can import enough data from the old system so the impact on the productivity of your personnel will be manageable.
3. Assemble A Team of People with Blended Skills for Internal Implementation
The most successful steps in EHR implementation take place in health systems that put together an internal team with people from all organizational specialties and procedures.
Typically, this blended implementation team will:
- Be overseen by a capable project manager who will make sure the change is going as planned;
- Possess a “super users” team from inside your health system, who are key to training as well as a technical team that can advise on hardware requirements and re-establish connections with current third-party systems e.g., lab systems, and patient portals
- Maintain open lines of contact with both the previous and new EHR vendors.
4. Find Your Parameters
The discovery process aims to identify your accountability for creating a solid strategy for your objectives. The first step is to choose and deploy an IT team that will be in charge of transferring data from the existing system to the new EHR.
The answers to the questions listed below will be provided throughout the discovery phase, which will assist you in determining how much data to extract and what details are essential for a successful migration:
- How much information is available for conversion?
- Do you have access to a sample data extract from your old EHR provider?
- How much information can be completely scanned, and how much has to be manually entered in an organized format?
- How long will it take for EHR Data Migration?
- Will manually entered data in the incoming EHR be searchable or suitable for data mining?
- How will you retrieve scanned photos?
Additionally, you must ensure that the data you are converting is correct and clear. Bad data should not be transferred to the new EHR system.
5. Aid Your Vendor in Carrying Out the EHR Data Migration
You must supervise and help the vendor with the data transmission. To build migration code, fix bugs, perform tests, and handle other technical activities, you might need to recruit extra IT staff.
For a seamless relocation, skilled EHR experts’ advice is also crucial, as these experts will offer insights into how legacy records will be maintained and used in the new system. They’ll show you how to incorporate existing operations in the new EHR without disrupting or altering the operations of your organization.
6. Prepare For Training Beforehand
A new system introduces a new user interface, new capabilities, new business procedures, new restrictions, new possibilities, and more. As a result, all employees at your hospital—from clinicians to IT staff—must get training on how to utilize the new EHR system.
The hospital employees using the EHR on a daily basis must be educated on any new workflows and procedures that were created during data migration. To prevent a decline in your staff’s productivity, schedule the training sessions in advance and put them into action before the transition is finished.
The migration procedure includes training because it will be up to you and your employees to assess the newly integrated EHR system when developer testing is finished. Conduct as many tests as possible to uncover problems and issues with the functionality of the new system before going live. Learn as much as you can about your new system.