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Data Migration During EMR Changes

Data Migration During EMR Changes

One of the most challenging aspects when deciding to switch to a new EMR system is how to get existing data from the old system to the new system safely, securely and accurately.  Many times, the scope of this task is enough to force providers to remain with a subpar vendor even though there are other systems that would greatly improve workflows and friction points. So how can you successfully move forward when you find a new EMR that you like?

The first component of any EMR switch is to make sure that the new system supports your staff and clinic workflows.  This can only be done by actually seeing the platform in a clinic environment, not simply just in a controlled demo.  At Arfinn Med, we often find that potential customers are better off replicating a few demo/fake patient scenarios to make sure no interruptions and unexpected surprises occur after you’ve already made the switch.  Also, make sure that your new EMR vendor offers a free trial so you have ample time to go through all aspects of the new system with your staff (charting, booking, telehealth, payments, etc.).  If everything seems good after this period, then you can begin to discuss and plan for data migration.

It is often best to assign a staff member to oversee the transition from old EMR to new.  This not only helps with streamlining the planning and execution, but also prevents any communication errors.  This person should have direct contact with old and new systems to help the transition run smoothly.  It is also helpful to review the new EMR’s integration protocols to gather a good understanding of what the data transition will look like, timeline for completion, and what is required from your old EMR.  It can seem overwhelming at times but picking a new EMR with a clear data migration system indicates that they have successfully done this many times before and can walk you through all aspects of the change.

Perhaps the most important component of the switch is to make sure there is a strong customer support and training program at your new EMR.  A major factor in preventing successful integrations is staff losing patience because they can’t fully operate in the new system.  This is amplified in a busy clinic and tasks that were once simple, can seem tedious.  This familiarity issue often causes practices to revert back to the old system and old problems that you were trying to move away from in the first place. Make sure everyone on your staff receives ample training in the new system and a dedicated support person is on call during your first months of implementation.

EMR and practice management software is becoming incredibly more intuitive and user friendly.  If your old system isn’t keeping up, don’t let the fear of data and system migration prevent you from exploring what’s out there.  To learn more about how Arfinn Med can assist your practice with switching to our software suite, contact us at info@arfinnmed.com.

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