Switching to a new EHR is usually a disruptive process for CIOs and health professionals. A recent study showed that there very few empirical studies and established methods for this task. A significant obstacle that must be overcome is electronic medical records migration. But the good news is that with a basic understanding of the migration process and the help of a competent legacy data migration vendor, you can scale through successfully. Here are some tips to have a successful electronic medical records migration.
1. Understand the Different Types of Migration
You can group EHR migrations into three categories:
- Moving to the newer version of the same EHR
- Switching to an EHR from another vendor but with the full support of the old system’s vendor
- Moving to a new EHR with minimal cooperation from the two EHR vendors.
The first type allows a complete data transfer without much disruption to your workflow. When you have the full cooperation of your old EHR vendor, you will be able to map data accurately, pull out all the data you need, and retire the older EHR.
The last type of data migration is the most difficult. In this case, you need to allocate a lot more time and resources for the project. You also need to work with a consultant who has experience with the two EHRs.
2. Connect to a Reputable Migration Partner to Build a Formidable Team
Very few EHR vendors will agree to undertake an entire data migration project. That’s why you need to find a migration consultant that has done a similar migration.
Your consultant will provide the expertise and insight required to plan and execute a successful migration. You can depend on them to help you select and train in-house IT personnel that will collaborate on the project.
A diligent project manager should lead your in-house team. Let the team also have many tech-savvy users who will train and support other users.
3. Document Your Workflows to Minimize Disruptions
Your new EHR will have more features and capabilities than the old one, but it won’t function the same way. To minimize the disruption to your workflows, you need to document them and the data that flows from one system to another.
For example, your scheduling, appointments, diagnosis, treatment, prescribing, billing, and follow-up must have the data needed to function effectively. Ensure that you phase out your data migration and provide adequate data to minimize disruption to each worker’s daily activities.
4. Create a Project Plan
It’s not uncommon for healthcare providers to change their practice management applications when switching to a new EHR. In such situations, it is advisable to complete one migration at a time.
Give your staff some breathing space and let them get used to one system before introducing another change. Remember that migrations come with changes in user interfaces.
While some users may be happy and quick to adopt new ways of working, others may be reticent and require a lot of persuasion and patience to use a new system.
5. Move Data in Batches at Off-Peak Hours
Moving data to a new EHR will consume a large amount of network resources. To reduce disruptions to your operations, schedule the movement of extensive data for periods when you have a light workload.
You can schedule the data transfer task using a server scheduling tool and inform users that there will be disruption on the network while the transfer is taking place.
After moving data, ensure that you have a staging system that users can test with actual data.
Get Your EMR/EHR Migration Done With Minimal Disruption
Let’s help you plan and implement your data migration project. We will save you time, money, and effort. Contact MediQuant now for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844.286.8683 to discuss your needs.