You converted to a new EHR mid-year….now what?

You converted to a new EHR mid-year….now what?


 A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Healthcare Analytics Summit hosted by Health Catalyst. As a data nerd, I attended out of interest for what is going on in the industry, specifically what initiatives health care systems around the country are currently involved in, and the challenges they are facing.

For the past few years at Galen, I’ve been performing data conversions for clients from one Electronic Health Record (EHR) to another. A recurring issue that I heard a few times during the Summit is that sometimes health systems need to perform mid-year data conversions from one system to a new system, which made year end reporting for quality initiative programs from the legacy system challenging. Some systems with their own Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) were able to incorporate the legacy data into their existing EDW, saving them hundreds of man hours of physically going through the records to find patients that meet the criteria.

But some of you don’t have the luxury of a fully functional EDW. And many of you are acquiring practices left and right. Incorporating the data from these legacy systems into your new or existing EHR is an exhaustive process in itself. Testing the data imports, managing timelines, training staff on a new system. It can be daunting.


Last year Galen performed many data conversions from a variety of source systems. The data that we extract as part of the conversion process is reportable and can be used for a number of reporting initiatives. Although they aren’t technically part of your hospital system, your conversion tech and conversion analysts know your data very well by the end of a conversion. We often work with staff in your hospital to understand workflows. We understand that specialty practices have different types of data and different types of needs than primary care practices. We work so closely with your data for months at a time that it sometimes feels as if we are actually employees of your health care organization.

The thought struck me during the Summit – why not utilize the data that was extracted for the conversion in order to assist in your reporting needs for your quality initiatives? Like I stated above, by the end of the conversion, your tech is going to understand your data really well, and most importantly, have access to it. For conversions, some of the most commonly extracted items include problems, medications, allergies, appointments, smoking history, vital signs, lab and imaging results, visit notes, health maintenance history and immunizations. On top of these items, we can also extract any items that you might need for quality initiative reporting at the same time that we are performing the extraction for the data conversion. For example, in the demographic extract, we can extract race, which might not necessarily be part of the conversion efforts, but something simple for us to add into the extract that will go a long way in helping you report for Meaningful Use.

We can help you. If you are one of our current or past conversion clients, contact us to see how we can work with you. Galen also offers archival solutions, de-migration and conversion services as well as a variety of reporting offerings to meet your quality initiative reporting measures as well as your own internal needs.

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