Clinical data conversions are an everyday topic at Galen Healthcare Solutions. As many hospitals and clinics settle into their EHR choices, we are seeing more and more groups begin to rethink their original selection. Organizations and providers now see the benefits and subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) differences in functionalities between EHR applications. They are able to examine their EHR with more experienced eyes and evaluate whether the system meets their organization’s goals, how well it with other systems, the vendor’s stability, and ongoing EHR-related costs. In addition to turning away from their legacy systems, many organizations are merging with or acquiring existing clinics, increasing the necessity and demand for clinic data conversions.
Galen Healthcare Solutions often helps clients with their clinical data conversion. During these conversions, one area that is often overlooked is client involvement in validation. Partnering with your conversion team for validation and testing of this clinical data is equally as important as it was with your initial implementation.
Who should be testing?
Your conversion team will need to test the clinical data that they are bringing over to your new system. Our Galen conversion teams have clinical analysts who test and test and then test some more, stepping through your current and future workflows as provided. Their clinical backgrounds allow them to be familiar with not just what the data should be, but how the data should look and how it will be used in your new system.
It is also essential that the client allow for sufficient resources with dedicated time to complete end user testing to avoid issues later on.
End user testing is usually performed by clinicians and other end users and is even more focused on identifying whether the converted data is working to meet the organization’s needs.
What are you testing?
Your structured data conversion is highly customized based on your needs. End users should test all the various workflow scenarios based upon the agreed functionality to ensure that the data not only has been entered into your new system accurately, and also that it is clinically sound and functional.
Beyond testing that the data appears correctly in the new system, you should also make sure that the workflows using the data are functioning as expected. It is important that the target system display vital signs from the legacy system’s last patient visits, but can you also refill a medication based on the height and weight entries that are present? Are you able to trend the results being brought in from your A1C tests in your source system flowsheets? Is your last colonoscopy date being brought in to trigger a reminder when your next one is due? Can you report on the converted data sufficiently to meet Meaningful Use requirements?
Provide adequate feedback
Clients are responsible for verifying the correctness of the end user tests and reviewing the results with the conversion team to decide what needs addressing.
Galen’s resources can help facilitate a client with their testing, but it is important to be as specific as possible when providing your results. We need to know how an error occurred and what steps were taken to create this problem. You will need to provide patient identifying information, incident date/time details, a replicable error, and even screenshots when possible. Without these details, it can be nearly impossible to duplicate or identify the issue. Ultimately, a client needs to take part of the responsibility for ensuring that the clinical data entering their new EHR application has been thoroughly tested and meets the needs of the organization, providers and patients.
Galen Healthcare Solutions helps guide our clients through this end user testing phase with tools such as test scripts, organizing and leading testing sessions, results compilations, and even end user training on the system itself. Galen takes pride in our many successful system conversions and our professional and technical service teams can help assist your conversion every step of the way.