If you are considering a switch in EHR vendors, you will find plenty of reasons to decide against switching. Converting your data is one of them. At PCC, we've heard it time and time again. "I need a new EHR and I want to switch but I'm afraid of what will happen with my data."
The concern is valid, as there are EHR companies that will try to prevent you from switching to another system simply by making it as difficult as possible to convert your data. Just when we think we've seen it all, another example appears. What is important to understand is that selecting a vendor with distinct data conversion knowledge is one aspect of running a successful pediatric practice!
So, how do you get your data from your current EHR vendor and make sure it's converted correctly?
It's a multi-step process and must involve you as well as the current and new vendor. The best solution is to know what you need to do before you need to do it.
Here are 10 questions to help you get started:
1. Do you have an exit strategy in the case you need to leave your vendor?
2. Understand your contract, is there
3. Will your current vendor charge you for a data conversion? How much?
4. Will your new vendor charge for a data conversion? How much?
5. In what format will your current vendor supply your data?
6. In what format can your new vendor convert the data?
7. How long will it take to your current vendor to export your data?
8. How long will it take your new vendor to import your data?
9. How much of your data will be exported and imported?
10. How many data conversions will there be?
You'll want as much information as possible from your current vendor, demographics, visit histories, procedures and diagnosis codes, insurances, etc. Make sure immunizations are included!
Once your new vendor has converted your data, make sure to review it thoroughly, depending on the size of your practice, randomly select 20, 50, or 100 or more patient charts and review them side by side, if you can. Make sure the dates, codes, providers are the same for visits. Review the problem list, diagnosis history
Have a plan, ask the questions and understand your contract. Do your share of the work and the data conversion won't be an obstacle to switching. Consider this effort part of running a successful practice.