This entry is part of our data migration blog series – a range of topics intended to help organizations who are migrating from one EHR to another.
Data migration allows organizations to move data from transitioning or retired systems to a new primary EHR. These easy-use, quality of care benefits can be lost if end users are not educated on a few key things. Obviously users need to be trained on the functionality of the new system. But, it is also important that they understand the scope of migrated data, where they can expect to find the data, and what data elements need to be reconciled the first time they access it.
Some examples of scope that need to be communicated: Are only certain types of notes available? What is the date range that is being converted? Are all vital signs being converted, or just the last set? Making sure that end users are aware of the scoping decisions like these can greatly improve the end user experience. Developing a “What’s In vs. What’s Out” document can help with the initial cutover as well.
Are progress notes from the source EHR going to be filed in with progress notes from the target EHR? Or are they going to be classified and filed separately? What about demographic information and administrative documents? If a “Nurse Note” from the legacy system is converted as a “Clinical Staff Note” in the new target EHR, the end users need to understand this. Not knowing where each data element files into the new system can complicate even a simple task and unnecessarily stoke the inevitable frustrations that come with a migration. Clearly explaining and documenting this, possibly with a data crosswalk, can alleviate some of these issues.
If a medication has been migrated from the legacy system, will it be immediately available on the patient’s chart? Or will it need to be reconciled first? If users are unsure of the answer to these questions, it can lead to a very frustrating experience. End user training needs to include a review of each data element: where the user should look for it, how to reconcile it if required and what scope of data they should expect for that element
During a data migration, data validation is performed to ensure that the data is mapping correctly from one system to another. Involving end users in this validation process is an excellent opportunity for additional training. Those who help in validation gain additional experience with the new EHR, are able to provide valuable feedback on the migrated data, and can serve as super users moving forward. By setting expectations for what clinical data is being migrated, where to find it, and how to reconcile it into the new record, end users will have a much easier time transitioning to the new system and accessing the migrated data, ultimately enhancing quality of care.