Migrating to Epic, Cerner, Meditech? The Value of Utilizing One Vendor to Assist with All Aspects of Your EHR Migration

Posted on behalf of Katie Jankowski, Implementation Engineer
With so many different EHR software vendors to choose from, it can be challenging for hospitals to decide which software would truly meet their best needs. Many factors typically contribute to the ultimate decision, ranging from their ability to reach Promoting Interoperability Requirements to vendor customer service. Hospitals and physician offices find themselves re-evaluating their EHR software to ensure their needs are being met and that their current software is optimal. Through this re-evaluation process, many hospitals and physician offices decide to migrate or switch EHR vendors.
According to a 2014 study published in Perspectives in Health Information Management: “Productivity, Interoperability, and Cost are the top three reasons healthcare organizations decide to switch EHR vendors.”
Once the decision has been made to switch EHR vendors, the process can feel overwhelming for hospitals and physician offices alike. Time involved with training staff, maintaining current workflows, and testing with vendors are only a few topics of discussion. Experience with this type of migration can be an asset and help alleviate some stress in planning and process development.
Having integrated with Meditech, Epic, and Cerner, among many other systems, Summit Healthcare’s integration engine, Summit Exchange, is vendor-agnostic and allows for a seamless migration from one EHR system to another.
One of the advantages of having an integration engine during a migration is the ability to copy over existing maps, interface workflows and deployments, SQL commands, and any other current designs that need or want to be kept intact within the new EHR system. With the ever-changing differences in EHR systems, the ability to maintain the integrity of current processes is a great option to have.
In addition to general interoperability concerns, physician office integration can also be a factor when migrating from one EHR vendor to another.
Summit’s Provider Exchange product integrates with Summit Exchange and allows for orders from any EHR to be held until the patient arrives. Depending on innate customer-defined patient matching requirements, patient arrival will trigger a patient demographic message (ADT) and an order message (ORM) to release. This patient matching will help alleviate issues with new orders creating separate encounters in new EHR system and can be useful to maintain a concise patient list.
Another challenge during a migration is deciding how to populate patient information in the new software before going LIVE.
This is important so that staff has patient history and information once the new software is fully implemented. One of the solutions considered can involve the use of a patient’s CCD (Continuity of Care Document) which is a full, summarized document that typically includes a patient’s demographics, problem list, medications, allergies, lab results, and care plan. The CCD can be useful to migrate given the fact that it includes a great deal of data for each patient.
Summit’s Scripting Toolkit (SST) can be used in a variety of ways to assist with migrating patient data.
For example, by developing a script that facilitates the auto-generation of CCD documents from Meditech, this allows for them to be imported into a new EHR system, such as Epic, and back-filling patient charts with necessary data. This script was configured to continuously run on a dedicated server until all patient CCDs were available for import. Following this mass extraction, the CCDs were imported directly into Epic which left providers at ease knowing that important patient data was successfully migrated.
Within just one healthcare organization, Summit Healthcare and three Summit products were trusted to ensure a seamless migration between two major EHR vendors: Summit Exchange, for interoperability and interface development. Provider Exchange, for patient matching and physician office integration and, lastly, Summit Scripting Toolkit, for migrating patient data between EHR systems. Each product was valuable on their own, but consolidating all three efforts was even more valuable since it relied on one vendor relationship as opposed to coordinating multiple vendors to meet the same needs.