An EMR Consolidation Success Story: CaroMont Health
CaroMont Health, a regional health system based in North Carolina, recently met the challenge of EMR data consolidation with the support of HEF Solutions. Making the system-wide commitment to consolidate EMRs didn’t come overnight for CaroMont, but the prospect of realizing these benefits made their decision easy:
- Physician visibility to entire continuum of care
- Vastly improved reporting efficiency and capabilities, from regulatory reporting to sophisticated data mining for population health insight
- Data-driven decision-making capabilities across all clinical and financial areas
- Reduced operational costs of running a single EMR vs. many disparate systems
One of the biggest challenges and complexities involved with EMR consolidation is accurately bringing all of the data together across the various practices and disparate EMRs. CaroMont was using one system at their 435-bed hospital, along with a combination of three other EMRs at outpatient facilities. With the eventual sunset of the hospital-based EMR system, CaroMont chose to transition to their new system sooner rather than later in order to realize the benefits of moving the entire system to a single EMR.
During the EMR transition planning process, CaroMont heard many conflicting opinions from vendors and other healthcare organizations on the data migration portion of the transition. They were left with several unanswered questions and unknowns, prohibiting them from creating a strategy they felt confident would succeed. At this point, they decided to engage HEF Solutions to help develop an EMR data consolidation strategy and take on the data migration portion of the project. Working with HEF in the planning stages of the project, CaroMont was able to make informed decisions early due to:
- An understanding of all available options and clear expectations regarding feasibility, cost, and timeline.
- Collaboration with healthcare data experts in creating a strategy that would allow them maximize the usage of their data, retain the full patient record, and retire the legacy EMRs
- Consultation from experienced EMR data technologists for decision-making guidance throughout the project in relation to best practices for data migration and import methods (i.e. HL7, CCD, etc)
A hybrid EMR data conversion strategy proved successful. Working in conjunction with CaroMont’s CMIO, Dr. Salim Saiyed, HEF Solutions recommended a hybrid data migration approach of conversion and archival. Select EMR data elements were migrated directly into the new Epic EMR system, and the remaining patient record was transferred into PatientArchive®, HEF Solutions’ enterprise EMR archive solution. With the archived records directly accessible within Epic, this strategy enabled the care team to access a complete clinical picture of each patient within Epic. It also allowed CaroMont to retire their legacy EMRs, eliminating ongoing licensing, support, and training costs associated with the defunct EMRs.
CaroMont started to realize the benefits of migration to a single EMR system in real-time and is positioned to gain much deeper insights from their data for future decision-making. CaroMont stated, “We are extremely happy with the increased flexibility we have after moving to a single EMR. Our care team now has visibility to the entire continuum of care, giving them a much more complete picture of a patient’s health, and allowing us to deliver care more efficiently and effectively. The benefits we expect to receive from this consolidation greatly outweigh the costs.”Daniel Alex EMR Consolidation