EHR Data Conversions – Maintaining Patient Care

5 Critical Factors for a Successful EHR Data Conversion

Brad Benson
CEO at Health eFormatics

A recent KLAS study found that physicians seeking a replacement EHR have grown from 30% in 2011 to 50% in 2012.  A few of the reasons physicians are changing EHRs include:

  • The practice is being acquired
  • Current EHR system is not certified to meet the 2011 Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements
  • Current EHR is certified for 2011 but may not meet 2014 certification (Stage 2)
  • Overall dissatisfaction with current EHR system

To get the most out of your EHR replacement, conversion of legacy data is usually required.  A common misconception is that EHR data conversions can be done with the flip of a switch. However, if not done correctly, data conversion projects can lead to unintended consequences.  Namely, healthcare providers could be left without the needed information to make the best clinical decisions.  The legacy patient data must be presented in the new EHR in a way that is meaningful to the physicians and clinical staff.  To deliver a truly successful EHR data conversion it is critical to conduct up-front analysis in order to determine how your legacy patient data will be presented in the new EHR.

With that in mind, here are a few critical success factors to consider:

  • Will drug interaction checking continue to occur with the legacy data?
  • Will allergy reminders continue for legacy EHR patient allergies?
  • Will it take more clicks to get to the legacy data?
  • Will the doctors be able to easily access their legacy EHR data quickly and easily to find the data needed to make a clinical decision?
  • Have physicians been involved in testing of the legacy data conversion?

Considering these questions up-front along with physician input into how they want the data to appear is imperative for ensuring a successful conversion.  When physicians are not involved in the testing or they do not see the data until they are live on the new system, the result can be frustrating.

Asking the right questions and thinking about getting physicians involved throughout the EHR data conversion process will ensure that your doctors continue to have all the legacy EHR data at their fingertips, thus allowing them to maintain the best continuity of care for their patients.

Brad Benson is the CEO of Health eFormatics, a company that specializes in EMR/EHR data conversions.  Learn more at