The following is a guest article by Justin Campbell, Vice President, Strategy, at Galen Healthcare Solutions.
Note: While this article addresses specifically converting data to MEDITECH Expanse, most of these principles apply to any EHR data conversion.
With Expanse, MEDITECH has delivered a single EMR platform that gathers all the health data needed for treatment across care settings. But if your organization utilizes an EHR that is not built or supported by MEDITECH, you should maintain the value of your clinical data that has already been entered into existing EMRs through a data conversion to Expanse.
Converting legacy system data to Expanse ensures clinical continuity and maximization of usability at go-live. Migrating that data makes a marked difference in the ability to achieve increased provider satisfaction and return to full utilization. That said, a data conversion project does come with its own risks, and we have distilled the top considerations to address:
1. Data Access
The single biggest hurdle to starting and delivering a project on time is obtaining required access to the legacy data. Typically, this an afterthought, but once an organization starts to request access, the institutional knowledge needed for dependencies including granting database and front-end access to several in-scope applications can be elusive. This can be mitigated by organizations starting well before contract signature to identify who is able to grant and process the access.
2. OV (Other Vendor) Sourced Data
When an OV is required to provide an extract of the data, such as a vendor-hosted application, it almost always produces incomplete data, resulting in project delays and additive costs. This risk can be reduced by requiring the legacy OV to provide full database copies throughout the project. In the event a full database copy cannot or will not be provided, a detailed specification should be available for review before data delivery. There should also be a contract provision that the legacy OV will update extracts for missing data at no additional cost and in a timely manner.
3. Subject Matter Expert (SME) Availability
Institutional knowledge of the legacy OV system is critical to data conversion success. It is important that an SME be identified prior to contract signature for each in-scope application. This SME will need to carve out dedicated time throughout the project to support the project team. This SME should also be relied on to make decisions about data for the system in which they have expertise.
4. Client Validation Resource Availability
To meet the project’s timelines, client end-users must provide validation support at the right time and in a prompt manner. There should be advance notice about the deadline for making validation resources available.
5. Burning Platform Communication
It is critical that all drivers for Expanse transition are clearly communicated. Examples include software license renewal dates for legacy systems, mandated pending hardware refresh dates, loss of data center or system access, and replacement system go-live dates and transition timelines.
When scoping the data conversion (which clinical elements should be migrated, how many years of data should be converted), formation of a Physician Advisory Council can be effective to ensure proper data governance. MEDITECH supports conversion of the following data elements to Expanse:
- Home Medications
- Vital Signs
- Problem Lists
- Family History
- Social History
- Health Maintenance
- Document Images (Notes and Scanned Documents)
Keep in mind though that the data that can be extracted from the legacy system often limits what can be converted to Expanse.
Other considerations for planning, scoping and strategy include:
- How am I going to access legacy patient data?
- What data will not move to Expanse?
- Are our processes fine-tuned enough to be down for a full day?
- How are business offices going to continue to collect revenue?
- Does the reporting software allow me to combine data from multiple systems?
- Do I have enough resources to cover extended trainings and existing maintenance?
- How much am I going to be paying each month in maintenance for my legacy system?
- How long do I need to license the legacy system before pursuing decommissioning?
- How will downstream systems be affected by new patient identifiers?
In addition to all the other projects and phases that support the implementation of Expanse, it must be kept in mind that the data conversion almost always requires more time and resources than originally intended. Galen Healthcare Solutions’ data conversion team’s primary goal is to support as much of the conversion project (and its overall implementation) necessary to ensure its success. We offer a full complement of services from project management, to validation, to data extraction and data evaluation.
Want to learn more about providing immediate clinical continuity and maximizing usability at MEDITECH Expanse go-live? Download the full whitepaper, Switching to MEDITECH EXPANSE – Preserving Data at the Point of Care, which covers the many data migration and archiving considerations to evaluate when navigating the switch to MEDITECH Expanse.
About Justin Campbell
Justin is Vice President, Strategy, at Galen Healthcare Solutions. He is responsible for market intelligence, segmentation, business and market development and competitive strategy. Justin has been consulting in Health IT for over 12 years, guiding clients in the implementation, integration, and optimization of clinical systems. He has been on the front lines of system replacement and data migration, and is passionate about advancing interoperability in healthcare and harnessing analytical insights to realize improvements in patient care. Justin can be found on Twitter at @TJustinCampbell and LinkedIn.
About Galen Healthcare Solutions
Galen Healthcare Solutions is an award-winning, KLAS-ranked healthcare IT technical and professional services and solutions company providing high-skilled, cross-platform expertise and proud sponsor of the MEDITECH Expanse Migration Series. For over a decade, Galen has partnered with specialty practices, hospitals, health information exchanges, health systems and integrated delivery networks to provide data conversion and archival solutions. Galen has completed more than 500 successful data conversion & archiving projects and has experience with over 100 unique systems. Galen’s data migration team was named 2020 KLAS Category Leader for HIT Implementation Leadership (Small) and recognized in KLAS’ 2020 Technical Services report for breadth, versatility, experience, and balancing price and performance. Galen’s archiving solution, VitalCenter Online, was recognized by KLAS in their inaugural report, Legacy Data Archiving 2019 A First Look at a Changing Market, for the accuracy and accessibility of its data and for its industry-leading commitment to customer experience. For more information, visit www.galenhealthcare.com. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.