Why Should You Convert Your Patient Data?

The last decade has witnessed significant growth in the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). Simultaneously, health organizations have been looking for ways to change EHR providers while maintaining access to and integrity of patient data.

The two largest reasons for EHR provider changes for health systems, hospitals, and private practices are medical provider dissatisfaction and mergers and acquisitions. To prepare for these changes, many health organizations are turning to automated EHR data conversion. 

In an automated EHR data conversion, source values are extracted from both the legacy (source) system and new (target) system to create a conversion map. That map is entered into a conversion utility software. Data from the legacy system is run through the conversion utility and transformed to meet the needs of the new system. While it is being transformed, the conversion utility is monitoring total errors, parsing errors, mapping misses, percent complete, date/time to finish, and success rates. After the data has met the standards, it is then loaded into the new system.

During an automated EHR data conversion, not a single patient record is touched. Companies who specialize in EHR data conversion should utilize a failsafe ETL methodology specifically designed to mitigate clinical risk.

Why Convert?

Automated data conversion is the most efficient and effective way to retain and access patient data in a new EHR. Health systems and medical practices have chosen this data conversion path for the following reasons:

  • Reduced legal risk
  • Clinical convenience
  • Preservation of access to valuable data
  • Faster decommissioning of legacy EHR
  • Full utilization of new EHR
  • Efficiency of a single system
  • Increased patient interaction time
  • No risk of data manipulation
  • No delay in patient history retrieval
  • Limited variable costs

Next Steps

Given the complexity of the data and variety of potential solutions, one might suppose that handling legacy data when changing EHR systems would be a complex affair. In many ways, that is true. However, it doesn’t have to be. When you take the following steps before making decisions about your legacy data, you are setting up your organization for success:

1. Identify a leader and entrust him or her to make decisions that align with the best interest of the organization. 

2. Work with organizational leadership to identify goals for the project. 

3. Consider putting together a Physician Advisory Committee (PAC) to guide clinical decision making. 

4. Enlist the help of experienced Health IT Data Architects. 

The healthcare data landscape may seem like a steep hill to climb right now, especially if your organization does not have experienced, in-house data architects. When you work with the right partner, an automated EHR data conversion can create good outcomes for the providers, the patients, and your healthcare organization.

To learn more about finding and hiring the right partner for your EHR data conversion, download the EHR Data Conversion Guide & Workbook.

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