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HealthData Talks: AI-Assisted Data Conversions

In this episode, host Shannon Larkin and Dr. Colin Banas, Chief Medical Officer at DrFirst, dive into how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is assisting data conversions. You will learn more about why DrFirst and Harmony Healthcare IT have recently joined forces, and how they are working together to improve EHR data conversions for clinicians.

(1:24) Larkin and Banas jump into the conversation by discussing the key drivers for EHR conversions and EHR consolidations in the current clinical landscape. Banas describes that there is still plenty of activity when it comes to consolidations and acquisitions of provider practices or large health systems. When this happens, it almost always comes with a requirement to convert to the mothership EHR, and older EHRs are being converted to newer contemporary ones in other instances. 

 (2:54) Larkin and Banas next discuss what conversions should ideally look like from a clinical perspective. Banas explains that a conversion must be safe, efficient, and consumable in the correct format, so the clinical team is working at the top of their level.  

 (4:03) Larkin asks what causes data inconsistencies and manual entry during a conversion. Banas explains that in some instances, he has switched from having no data on patients to then having too much data. This can cause a problem for clinicians because the data can be non-consumable and very time consuming to sift through, therefore causing clinician burnout.  

 (5:50) The conversation is then steered to how artificial intelligence is solving these data fidelity and interoperability issues between EHRs. Banas says that DrFirst has a patented technology they call “smart”, which refers to AI that is continually updated, and can solve the pain points when it comes to converting data, especially medication instruction data. AI can then reformat the data into a structure the system is expecting, by translating the medication data.  

 (7:33) Larkin next asks about the success rate of AI and the role the physician plays. Banas notes AI is not 100% accurate. DrFirst has about a 93% success rate and the 7% they do not convert is intentional due to certain types of complex medication data that needs to be input directly from a clinician or medical expert for the safety of their patients.  

 (9:11) Larkin mentions an on-demand webinar Harmony Healthcare IT recently co-hosted with DrFirst, “Creating a Better EHR Go-Live for Clinicians”, which covers many of the data conversion challenges provider organizations face and dives deeply into the AI solution with screenshots of how textual data gets codified and how that presents to the physician. 

 (10:39) Larkin finishes by asking Banas how much the 21st Century Cures Act should help with interoperability from a regulatory perspective. Banas answers he is hopeful for how the 21st Century Cures Act will transform the healthcare industry. The Cures Act will accelerate a lot of interoperability standards and expectations since the patients are heavily involved and will have greater access to more of their own data, how it is used, and where it is sent.  



Shannon Larkin, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Harmony Healthcare IT, utilizes her 25+ years of health IT experience to connect healthcare organizations with a team of experts that consolidate and modernize data storage to reduce cost and risk.

Dr. Colin Banas,
Chief Medical Officer at DrFirst, is an Internal Medicine Hospitalist and former Chief Medical Information Officer for VCU Health System in Richmond, Virginia. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) on health IT and the Meaningful Use program, and is a former Health IT Fellow for the ONC.


Related Resource Links

Explore data conversions

Explore data migrations

Watch “Creating a Better EHR Go-Live for Clinicians” webinar on-demand  

Learn more about Harmony Healthcare IT and DrFirst coming together to improve EHR data migrationwith AI


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