The following is a guest article by Justin Campbell, Vice President, Strategy, at Galen Healthcare Solutions.
For most clients migrating to MEDITECH Expanse, one of the most challenging decisions to make is how much data needs to make the transition. Clinicians will certainly want all legacy data to be converted, but this approach is often not practical or feasible given accessibility, complexity, security, and cost constraints. As such, most organizations take the approach of converting subsets of data from legacy systems to ensure clinical continuity and in archiving of all data required to satisfy legal retention requirements.
Galen Healthcare Solutions recently had the opportunity to work with a health system to support their clinical ambulatory migration to MEDITECH Expanse. As an early adopter for MEDITECH’s Acute and ED solutions, the health system moved all their ambulatory practices to the MEDITECH Expanse solution to complete their suite and was among the first to migrate their ambulatory data as part of that process.
As part of their migration and in scoping the Expanse data conversion, the health system considered factors including area of specialty, availability of data, and effort. To that end, both clinicians and the medical records department was involved in a discussion to determine what data points they need to practice and provide continuity of care.
What follows is a client Q&A of best practices and lessons learned from their MEDITECH Expanse data conversion.
1. WHY PERFORM AN OTHER VENDOR (OV) MIGRATION TO EXPANSE?
We made the decision to carry out our migration with Expanse to eliminate the expenses of maintaining another system, and to achieve one chart/one all-inclusive record for clinicians and Medical Records. If we had NOT done a data conversion, we would have had to pay staff to manually input data, which is costly and risky given possible data entry errors. The data conversion has allowed providers to return to full schedules more quickly.
2. WHAT WERE THE DRIVING FACTORS IN DETERMINING THE DATA ELEMENTS IN SCOPE FOR YOUR MIGRATIONS?
First, we were limited by data elements our EMR vendor (MEDITECH) could accept. Secondly, though our EMR could have accepted many more clinical queries, we had to focus on what was most important as we could not review and map every element in the database.
3. IF YOU HAD TO START THE MIGRATION PROCESS OVER WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
If we were to start over again, we would dedicate more time and resources (and money) to the process.
4. WHAT WERE THE MOST DIFFICULT PARTS OF THE MIGRATION PROCESS?
Finding the time and resources, while working with end users to get a clear decision and guidance on what the data should look like in the EMR, and how it should be managed once in the EMR. For example, it took time for the PAC (Provider Advisory Council) to decide whether to pull in all patient problems and determine how they should ﬁle in – unconﬁrmed, etc. You cannot make decisions around conversions in a silo.
5. WHAT SPECIFIC TASKS IN THE MIGRATION DID YOU OVER/UNDERESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF TIME AND RESOURCES THAT WERE NEEDED?
We underestimated the time and resources needed for conversions. We had an MPI (Master Patient Index), six clinical data sets (Problems, Medications, Allergies, Clinical Queries, Family History, Immunizations), and document image conversion. We assembled a multidisciplinary team that was comprised of Information Systems (both technical Integration and Informatics), HIM/Medical Records, and Galen Healthcare Solutions for technical support. Each person had a role and duties during the process while also being involved in other aspects of the EMR build. It was challenging while also keeping the rest of the EMR build in the know on what the output would translate to in the EMR (including our PAC-Provider Advisory Council), and the end users that needed to prepare charts (before the patient was seen). The chart preparation was an important component so that the provider could have complete information to be efficient.
The timing of these activities in the project were critical. We engaged with Galen Healthcare Solutions to assist with the conversion project, and their resource was key to our success. They were familiar with our EMR (MEDITECH) and their conversion specification, so they greatly assisted with mapping this process out, while completing the technical steps to meet the EMR conversion requirements. Galen advised the team on keeping a clean data set from our Other Vendor System (Medent), identified mapping and other technical issues, and were able to quickly address assurance of data integrity.
In closing, one of the most common questions posed is how long data conversion projects take. Depending upon the scope, Expanse data conversion projects can take anywhere from 6-18 months. The 8-phase methodology used at Galen has led to hundreds of successful migrations of all shapes and sizes. The basic framework puts an emphasis on mapping and validation, and, most importantly, feedback from clients.
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.