Unraveling Healthcare Data Conversion

Unraveling Healthcare Data Conversion & Migration Challenges

Published On August 03, 2022 -   by

With digitization becoming popular across all industries globally, the efficient management of key technological systems such as the Healthcare Information System (HIS) is becoming increasingly important. 

The HIS system involves different types of healthcare data sets that include Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). This healthcare data may need to be transferred or converted when the Information system requires an upgrade or replacement. 

Let’s look at what challenges are encountered during Healthcare Data Conversion & Migration and how to overcome them.

Major Healthcare Data Migration Challenges and How To Overcome them

Healthcare Data Migration is the process of transferring information about patients and their medical data from the legacy information system (source) to another (target) system. 

Data Migration is usually a one-time process. But due to the inconsistencies in data sets and the difference between the software programs running within the information systems, Healthcare Data migration encounters major challenges that need to be overcome for the successful transfer or migration of data.

Some of the major Healthcare Data Migration challenges with steps to overcome them are

1. Inadequate planning:

The transfer of healthcare data irrespective of the type needs proper planning for successful data migration to take place. Most data migration efforts fail due to a lack of understanding of the data and inadequate planning for its migration. Lack of planning also sometimes accounts for a lapse in data security.

To overcome this challenge and to ensure seamless EHR data migration, it is important to have a data migration plan that is validated by the vendor of the new system in place.

2.  Inconsistent Data Quality:

Data quality is a critical factor in the success of healthcare data migration. Inconsistencies in data such as mismatching fields, duplicate data, inaccurate data, etc., could cause the data migration process to get stuck halfway or stop altogether.

To overcome this challenge, it is important to work on assessing the data through data profiling and normalization to ensure data quality before getting started on data migration of healthcare data.

3.  Lack of Network Upgrades:

Often organizations disregard the need to upgrade their network infrastructure for data migration since they see it as a one-time event. But most of the time, multiple data migrations are conducted over the years thereby requiring a network upgrade to make them successful.

To counter this hurdle, it is important to scale the network infrastructure and prevent any discrepancies in the process of healthcare data migration, in turn, ensuring patient data stays intact.

4.   Undervaluing The Cloud System:

Most healthcare organizations continue to underestimate the role of cloud technology. But the cloud can play a pivotal role in the process of clinical data migration due to its flexibility of usage and storage elasticity. This undervaluing of cloud technology is likely adding to the expenditure related to data migration.

To overcome this challenge and aid cost savings, employing cloud technology for healthcare data migration could be a significant step. The ease of use of the cloud allows access to tools that can help migrate data correctly and successfully.

Key Healthcare Data Conversion Challenges and Their Solutions

Healthcare Data Conversion is a part of the data migration process and involves converting healthcare data into a compatible format for data migration. 

Data conversion is quite complex and includes conversion of paper medical documents to digital formats, moving from EMR to EHR, or upgrading from one EHR system to another.

Due to the complex nature of this process, it encounters many challenges which need to be resolved to ensure seamless data conversion and migration of healthcare data.

Some challenges encountered by Healthcare Data Conversion and their solutions are

1. Lack of Data Assessment:

Patient data may have many discrepancies such as it may be from multiple sources, may be structured/ unstructured, or may vary in format. Moreover, different data sets may have mismatched fields and labels. The lack of appropriate data assessment and the presence of these discrepancies could prove to be major challenges to successful medical data conversion.

The solution to overcome this major challenge is a detailed assessment of the legacy data and an understanding of the difference between the old EHR and the new one.

2. Outdated Network Infrastructure:

No scaling of the network infrastructure may result in incompatibility between the infrastructure and data formats, thereby hindering successful and complete healthcare data conversion.

To counter this challenge, it is important to upgrade the network infrastructure so that it supports the various patient data formats and ensures seamless healthcare data conversion.

3. Not Taking Help from Experts:

The healthcare data conversion process is highly complex and prone to errors. Hence, not taking help from healthcare data conversion experts can prove to be a huge disadvantage.

To overcome this hurdle, it is important to take help from healthcare data migration specialists. These specialists can aid in planning data conversions, assessing and preparing legacy data thereby ensuring data quality after conversion.  

4. Disregard for The Possibility of Workflow Disruption:

Data conversions almost always lead to some disruption in workflow and minimizing these disruptions is important to ensure successful data migration.

The solution to this problem is to make heavy data movements when there is minimal network traffic preferably not during peak hours.

Since healthcare data conversion is a part of the data migration process, the success of data conversion plays an important role in the success and completion of the data migration process.

Improving Healthcare Interoperability with Data Conversion & Migration

Healthcare Interoperability is defined as the ability of healthcare personnel and various related information systems to electronically move or share patient information. The EHR system must be able to successfully transfer patient data to another system. 

EHR interoperability is not only essential for administrative purposes but also plays a pivotal role in patient care. EHR interoperability is highly dependent on seamless data conversion and migration for its smooth functioning. 

Data management service providers like Data Entry Outsourced could help your healthcare organization enhance the efficiency of healthcare data conversion and migration.

Successful Healthcare data conversion and migration practices facilitate smooth healthcare interoperability, thereby contributing to efficient patient care and accelerated growth of the healthcare sector.

Enhance healthcare data management by opting for data migration and conversion services from Data Entry Outsourced.

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