With the increase in mergers and acquisitions within the U.S. healthcare market, the demand for conversions from one system to another has grown exponentially. A Healthcare IT News survey of hospital executives – “2017: The YearAhead in Health IT”- found that 24% are conducting a major system upgrade, while 21% are replacing their existing EMR at one or more sites. No matter which EHR the organization is moving from or towards, legacy patient data must be presented in the new EHR in a way that is meaningful to physicians and clinical staff, and stored in a way that provides the healthcare organization with the flexibility to analyze aggregate historical patient data. There are several methods for achieving these goals, which must be carefully considered at the beginning of your conversion journey.
When SSM Integrated Health Technologies acquired multiple legacy systems through acquisitions of inpatient and ambulatory facilities in the Shawnee, Oklahoma region, they knew a data conversion was needed. SSM had begun transitioning all their hospitals to one enterprise EHR, Epic, to streamline documentation and workflow processes for physicians. A single system minimizes errors by reducing the need for double entry into EMRs, and helps standardize protocols related to admissions, emergency department and referrals.
When SSM began their transition, the first consideration was whether to perform a migration or an abstraction. They considered hiring med and nursing students as temporary help to manually abstract the data from the source system into the target. However, the students didn’t have any background on the systems. In a typical Epic go-live for SSM, the abstraction process begins about two months prior to the actual go-live date, abstracting key pieces of information and bringing them into the record. This timeline needed to be majorly adjusted if they were to utilize the students because of the learning curve.
When SSM considered a data migration strategy and evaluated its cost, they also assessed the validity, accuracy, and cleanliness of the data to determine if they would get a better result using their existing EMR to bring the data forward. Ultimately, the cost of abstraction far outweighed what would be spent on a data migration strategy. The way SSM decided to frame their data migration was by using a combination of CCD extracts and the corresponding reconciliation process within Epic, then importing the remaining data via HL7 messages.
Because of the lack of additional, qualified, internal resources and a tight timeline, SSM realized they needed outside help. SSM requested Galen Healthcare Solutions’ assistance to convert their legacy data from MEDITECH and GE to Epic.
If you’re interested in how Galen can help your organization transition, check out our full suite of migration services, or contact us below with any questions: