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Considerations For EMR Migration

If your office is looking into converting to a new EMR, you’ll have to figure out what data you’ll want to move over and how much of it. If you want to migrate all of your data, know that it will cost you – both money and time – and in many cases is completely unnecessary. But on the other hand, you don't want to move over too little data, which can mean spotty records of patient history and even violate legal requirements.
So what should you do?

For starters, you need to first identify what kind of data you’ll need to have in your new EMR system and then figure out how far back you should migrate to make sure you have complete data. Here are a few factors you’ll want to consider before migrating to a new EMR system:

Archiving or Migration: Which should you do?

You’ll want to first answer how much data you want to move and why it needs to be moved. Usually, many think six months of acute care data should be moved and about a year’s worth of ambulatory information should work. But acute data is made up of different things like lab reports, allergies, flowsheets, medications, immunizations, orders/results, demographics and more. Even though ambulatory data isn’t as complex, you’ll still need to know what type you’ll want to move over. And there are even some system that will want you to input last year’s diagnostic codes so that doctors will know what meds patients were on and what treatments they had in the past year. Then whatever old data there is should be archived and preserved for auditing and compliance.

Data Standards and Complexity

The complexity of the data that you are moving over should be considered from your old EMR program. You’ll have to understand how data will be stored in your new system because there might be slight changes and understanding those differences is important. Old data will not be set to the new standards of the new system, so you’ll have to evaluate if you’re going to create a standardization process for the data transfer.

Workflows and Clinical Rules

Much of what’s in your old system might not relate right in the new EMR system. This is usually because the new system has better workfows and isn’t as technical as the old system, with doctors using new “workarounds” to go through the new modules. You’ll have to create a new map of rules moving forward and decide if you’ll keep requirements from the old system or simply create new ones for the improved system.
In essence, it’s important that your team look at all the data that will be migrating and how they can be consistent with it all as they put it in the new EMR system.

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