EMR data conversion is the process of transferring patient healthcare data from a legacy system to a new EMR system. This becomes necessary when there’s a merger and acquisition, when an EMR vendor quits, or when a more accurate and efficient EMR system is needed.
When all administrators and clinicians work together, automated EMR data conversion can help to reduce costs while saving data and providing accurate data migration. It also enables the entire health organization to provide better patient care and comply with all regulatory requirements. Here are 5 steps to effective data conversion.

1. Identification

During this phase, the IT staff and other selected members of the healthcare organization work together with the EMR vendor. Internal IT staff extract all the data stored in the current EMR system. Then, the vendor collaborates with a designated project manager, IT staff, and designated project leaders from each department to identify all the data available in the system.
They also identify the data that must be converted, the accuracy of the legacy system, and the data that will be archived. In most cases, only the data of patients who are active will be transferred to the new system. Data for patients who are deceased and those who have not had an appointment in the last ten years may be archived.

2. Definition of Scope

At this point, the vendor and the project management team have to reach an agreement on the data that must be converted, the way it will be converted, and the setting of priorities for the process. This is the time to create a schedule for reviewing records and formatting them to comply with all the data formatting requirements of the new system.
You’ll also want to update record fields that are missing or blank in the new system. It’s also necessary to agree on the adoption of identifiers for insurance providers and the conversion of codes from the legacy system to the new one.

3. Data Mapping

After defining the scope of the conversion project and all formatting requirements are well articulated, the EMR system vendor takes over. With the information gathered in the last step, data architects work with the vendor to map data fields from the old system to the new one.
The data is also transformed to comply with the requirements of the new system. After creating the data maps, a test run is conducted and the data is uploaded to a designated testing site.

4. Data Validation

The vendor’s data architects validate all uploaded data. They check for conversion errors and ensure that the data complies with the requirements set out in the earlier stages of the process. Then, the project management team and representatives of departments in the healthcare organization will preview the data, check the records, and ensure that patient records are accurate.
f errors are found, the vendor will have to make the necessary corrections. This could require a number of cycles, depending on the disparity between the legacy and new systems.

5. Migration

After validation, final data migration can take place. This is usually an automated process. The vendor uses a special conversion utility software to migrate the data. This program monitors the process and provides a report on the types of errors that occurred, the number of records transferred, and the time it takes to complete the process. When the data has been migrated, errors are checked and new identifiers are assigned. Then, the vendor provides a final report on the process to the healthcare organization before the new EMR system goes live.

Contact Us for Efficient EMR Data Conversion

If your organization needs to carry out an EMR conversion, get in touch with HEF Solutions now. You can give us a call or send a message through our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.