The Decision to Convert Data From An Existing EPM to EMR

December 23, 2017 by  Filed under: Computer 

Back in 1998, as the year Y2K loomed, our practice management company told us that they wouldn’t support their software for medical practices any more.

This left us in a predicament, facing an expensive and daunting situation. Suddenly we needed a new EPM system, and fast. We decided to go with a system from Medical Manager, which was considered a strong product offering at the time. When we finally did make the switch over to electronic medical records (EMR), Medical Manager was on our short list of vendors to consider, for obvious reasons.

Ultimately we decided to go with NextGen as our EMR provider. Through a careful selection process, we arrived at their integrated EPM/EMR solution – even knowing that this would require us to abandon our Medical Manager EPM system. We then made the switch over to NextGen’s EPM, before we started using the EMR module. At one point, we needed to decide if we planned on converting data from Medical Manager to the new system – or not.

If your medical practice decides to switch to a new system with its own EPM module, there are some important issues to consider before transferring the data. This is especially true of sensitive insurance and demographic information. We learned this the old-fashioned way: through direct experience.

In time, the data in an EPM database will degrade, primarily due to input errors. For example, a few of our staff members were creating duplicate records for patients, depending on the type of insurance they were using. The staff members thought this would help save time, but unfortunately, this data was difficult to reconcile. In the end, these records became a prime example of a difficulty when transferring data between electronic systems.

With data field mapping, it can be tedious to make sure data ends up in the right place within the new database – even when it is accurate. Furthermore, most software vendors charge a flat rate to convert data from an old system to a newer one. Take a look at your option for doing a data transfer, and keep in mind that a lot of work may be required to make adjustments. Still, clear forethought and design can keep this data entry work to a minimal amount after the data transfer.

When deciding that NexGen was the right platform for us, we chose to input the data into the new system manually. The NextGen system added new data fields in places where there weren’t any in Medical Manager. We had to fill these fields with the correct info. Time saved by converting the data would have been very little, as there was a lot of new data to input, regardless. However, time on this project was well-spent. We rotated each of our employees through the training room to learn to use the new EPM system, as others called patients to verify their insurance and demographic info – meanwhile confirming upcoming appointments in the new system.

Article Tags: Convert Data From, Convert Data, Data From, Medical Manager

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