Investing in a new EMR system for your organization is a big step forward – but what happens when you realize that your new EMR doesn’t have any legacy patient data? How do you move the data from your old EMR into the new one without losing critical records that your staff needs to treat patients?
Many times, healthcare organizations don’t realize they need to convert legacy data until well into the EMR implementation process. The EMR vendor’s sales person might have told you that they will import data into the new system, but you later find out that they were only talking about demographic data (not legacy patient records). This turns data conversion into an urgent need and ratchets up the pressure to get it done quickly.
But in reality, converting legacy patient data requires experience, planning and careful execution to ensure it is done the RIGHT way. Most healthcare organizations don’t even know where to start.
SO WHERE DO YOU START?
You essentially have three choices for your data conversion:
- The simplest approach is a Non-Discrete Data Conversion using PDFs and scanned information that is stored in the new EMR. However, your physicians may have to read through the entire chart to find out if a patient is allergic to something.
- The most seamless approach is a Discrete Data Conversion where data is mapped from the old EMR to your new EMR. The legacy patient data then resides in the new EMR once it goes live.
- Another option to preserve legacy patient data is Enterprise Data Archiving using a solution like HEF’s PatientArchive® Data Repository. This is ideal if you need to retain years of data and want to turn off your old EMR.
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Why Partner With HEF Solutions?
At HEF Solutions, we work closely with our clients to plan every EMR conversion – and we provide open, honest advice to ensure there are no surprises along the way. Planning for the data conversion is the most important step to establish clear goals and set realistic expectations. There is definitely a difference between simply getting it done and following best practices to do it RIGHT.
Our planning process begins with a thorough assessment of your data conversion needs and determining the best approach (full discrete conversion, non-discrete conversion or legacy data archival). Once we agree on the approach, HEF documents the Conversion Requirements and Model Test Cases to clearly define the scope of work and desired outcomes.
We then get to work on the conversion – conducting iteration testing and chart-to-chart comparisons along the way to identify and fix any issues well before your new EMR goes live.
Proven Medical Record Conversion Tools and Processes
HEF’s proprietary RightPath® Process provides a best practices approach to ensure all data is converted and represented appropriately in your new system.
As part of the RightPath Process, HEF conducts important iteration testing during the conversion process to proactively address data issues well before your EMR/PM goes live. The result is a positive go-live experience for your new system, which in turn accelerates provider adoption and patient satisfaction.