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Medical Data Conversion & Extraction

Medical data conversion is a process that has become increasingly important to healthcare organizations in recent years, primarily due to the ever-growing need to exchange data between different systems in an effort to increase technology advancement needs for organizations. In this blog post, we will discuss the details of this process, including data migration and extraction, and explain how each step helps healthcare organizations improve their operations.

What is Medical Data Conversion?

We’ll begin by discussing the basics of medical data conversion.

Medical data conversion is the process of migrating health data from one system, typically the legacy system, to a new EHR/EMR or specialty department software. Conversions are necessary for an organization to take across the most recently accessed or created medical records to the new system. 

Employing medical data conversion specialists for this task allows organizations to take across the maximum amount of data that the new system vendor will allow. Medical data conversion can be leveraged by healthcare organizations and pharmacies alike to maintain single system access to data created or accessed in the last one to two years as outlined by the vendor specifications.

What kind of medical data can be converted?

As for the kind of medical data that can be converted, the options are expansive and include structured and unstructured data. At Two Point, for example, some of the types of medical data we can convert include:

  • Clinical Data
  • Discrete clinical data (including lab results and medical histories)
  • Financial data
  • Demographic data
  • Imaging (including x-rays and ultrasounds)
  • Workflow data
  • Encounter data

Due to the extensive nature of medical data, enlisting software and professional medical data conversion specialists is highly encouraged. As previously mentioned these specialists can ensure the maximum amount of data is brought across, and that it is properly validated prior to being loaded on the new system, which ensures information accuracy. 

Converting medical data can be a complex and time-consuming task, depending on the size and complexity of the data set. However, it is often essential in order for healthcare organizations to be able to properly exchange information between different systems.

What is the process for Medical Data Conversion?

At Two Point, we enlist our proprietary ACERT™ software for the data migration process. 

Data migration involves systematically extracting the data from your legacy system to transform the data that will be uploaded into your new healthcare data system. However, the process for data migration has slight variations depending on the scope of the project as well as the specifications of the new system vendor. Still, the overall steps we follow to achieve a seamless conversion remain the same to provide accuracy with any data migration:

  • User discovery: This involves working with a client’s legacy application users and their IT department to determine the scope of the data migration. It includes reviewing any image and document requirements.
  • ETL: The ETL process includes setting up a staging environment for data migration. It involves extracting the data from existing systems and loading the information into the staging database to clean and transform the information prior to uploading it to the new system. During the ETL step, we also locate and extract or migrate any existing documents or images. (We’ll talk more about data extraction in a moment)
  • Vendor output creation: For the third step of the process, we work with the client’s new vendor to output the required data into the format they specify. This step includes converting documents and images to formats supported by the new vendor as required.
  • Testing and going live: Finally, based on the timeline and live date discussed during the user discovery call, the Two Point team works within the client’s schedule to load the data into their staging environment for iterative testing until approved, and then arranges the final extract and processing for going live.

Read more about healthcare data migration.

How can I best prepare for a medical data extraction?

Properly preparing for medical data conversion is essential for the success of the process. As for how to do this? There are a few critical steps healthcare organizations should take:

  • Understand the current system and how it stores medical data. This knowledge will be essential for properly mapping the data to the new system.
  • Work with a medical data migration specialist. A medical data migration specialist can help assess the complexity of the project and develop a plan for converting the data.
  • Test, test, test. Prior to the data being uploaded to the new system, it is important to validate the data against that of the old system. You’ll want to ensure that the data appears as it does on the old system and any errors are addressed prior to load. A final test should be completed to ensure information accuracy and accessibility on the new system. Finally, it’s important to have a backup plan. In the event something goes wrong during medical data migration, it’s important to retain your legacy system beyond the live date as a backup in case of live night issues.

What is medical data extraction?

Finally, we’ll discuss medical data extraction. Data extraction is the step of the data migration process that involves copying (extracting) medical data from one system and storing it in another system. 

At Two Point, our medical data extraction process follows the discovery phase, and it looks like this:

“Once contracting is complete, we or your vendor remotely extract data, image, and example screenshots from your legacy system, transferring data securely to a file server either at Two Point or within your network.”

There are many benefits to medical data conversion, migration, and extraction. Let’s cover those next.

How is medical data conversion and extraction beneficial to my organization?

Retaining medical data

The most obvious benefit is allowing healthcare organizations to upgrade or migrate to new systems without losing any of their more recent medical data. Losing valuable medical data comes with a number of consequences, including decreased efficiency, decreased quality of care, and increased costs.

Data quality and accuracy

Additionally, medical data conversion can help healthcare organizations improve their data quality and accuracy, as well as make it easier to comply with regulations.

Ensuring compliance

On the subject of compliance, medical data conversion can help healthcare organizations ensure they aren’t in violation of any guidelines surrounding how they handle medical data. This includes not only HIPAA requirements but state requirements for retaining and managing medical data as well.

Cost savings for storing and managing medical data

In some cases, medical data conversion can also help reduce the cost of regulatory compliance. For example, if you need to maintain data in multiple formats to meet different regulatory requirements, you may be able to use a medical data conversion tool to consolidate those formats into a single repository. This can save on both storage costs and staff time required to manage the data.

Improving efficiency and safety

The data conversion process can also improve the efficiency and productivity of healthcare organizations by maintaining access to recent health data on the new system. Access to this data can provide safety benefits by having access to the most up to date medical history of patients who have been seen or charts accessed in the last one to two years. 

Contact Medical Data Conversion Specialists Today

Overall, medical data conversion is beneficial to healthcare organizations in many ways. By retaining medical data, improving data quality and accuracy, ensuring compliance with regulations, and improving efficiency, this process helps healthcare organizations run more smoothly and effectively.

Are you interested in learning more about the specifics of these steps and how they will benefit your organization? As healthcare data conversion specialists with over three decades of experience, we at Two Point are committed to providing you with the tools and solutions healthcare systems and pharmacies need for healthcare data success.

Whether you’re looking to clean up IT practices, retire a legacy system, or accomplish any other goals for medical data at your healthcare organization, we can help. Contact us today to learn more. 

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