What We Do
Because the terms are often used interchangeably, let’s quickly break down what we consider to be the difference between EHR data migration services and data conversion services.
Data migration is simply the movement of information from one system or technology to another. It entails data profiling and validation to ensure that the transfer of information was performed in an accurate and quality way.
Data conversion is a type of migration that adds a layer of complexity by requiring the transformation of information from one format to another. It entails extraction of data from a source system followed by the transformation and load of that same data into a destination system which may represent all or part of that data in a different context.
At Harmony Healthcare IT, we offer both EMR migration and conversion and have experience with over 550 software brands, such as Epic and Oracle Cerner. We also tackle ERP data migration and conversion. But, because of the layer of complexity (and therefore cost) defined above between the two options, we like to hold a strategic discussion when presented with an opportunity for a patient data migration of any sort – especially when there is an inventory of multiple source legacy systems from a large health system.
Our enhanced data conversion offering, through a strategic relationship with DrFirst, employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate the process of migrating structured data from one EHR to another to inform clinical decision-making.
Often, when we perform EHR data migration services, we do so to help decommission legacy systems. The typical scenario is that a hospital or medical practice is moving from one EHR to another. We are engaged to extract data from the source system and work with the provider to put the right patient data migration plan in place. At the highest level, that plan considers two medical data migration pathways:
We work with the provider to identify which key clinical data elements will migrate from the source legacy EHR to the destination EHR.
This often includes PAMI+P data (problems, allergies, medications, immunizations and procedures) for a designated period (i.e. the last 18-24 months).
We obtain data ingestion specifications from the destination EHR vendor and put a patient medical data migration project plan in place to ensure the conversion is successful.
That plan needs to meet the go-live schedule of the destination EHR, allowing time for data profiling, transformation, testing and validation.
We also work with the provider to determine the best course of action for securely retaining the “rest” of the data.
It is critical that the provider complies with state, federal and agency medical record retention requirements. EMR migration to a HIPAA-compliant, long-term storage solution like HealthData ArchiverTM is often a preferred solution over EMR data conversion services to the destination EHR as it is less costly and complex.
Because HealthData ArchiverTM is an open, relational database, it is easier to map data to it versus transforming data from the format of the source EHR into the format of the destination EHR.
Clinical, HIM, legal, HR and other users need access to patient, employee and business records in the most efficient manner possible. This includes access within the new EHR, as well as to records stored in an active archive, ideally with a Single Sign-On integration from the go-forward EHR.
It is important to involve the organization’s Data Governance team and an Executive Sponsor early on for buy-in and project support. From there, a dedicated project manager along with technical resources and subject matter experts can inform and execute on the agreed upon plan.
Richard Shirey, SVP & CIO of Hartford Healthcare weighs in on partnering with Harmony Healthcare IT.
Learn more about our enhanced way of completing data migrations, through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
This webinar co-presented with DrFirst covers data conversion strategies that will reduce manual data reconciliation effort through the use of AI and benefit clinicians upon go-live of an EHR transition.