Do you operate a pharmacy? If you do, then you likely understand how important data is. After all, without data, you wouldn’t be unable to keep track of your inventory, customers, or sales. it’s crucial to ensure your data is properly converted when you switch pharmacy software platforms or during pharmacy acquisitions and mergers. Today, we’ll discuss what you need to know about pharmacy data conversion, including the importance of accuracy, compliance, and completeness.
Generally speaking, data conversion is the process of converting data, images, and documents from one format to another. In the context of pharmacy data, this usually refers to converting data and images from one software platform to another. This can be a complicated process because each legacy system differs, and each new vendor’s import specifications are unique, so it requires ensuring all of the necessary data is converted accurately.
There are a few situations where you might need to convert your pharmacy data. The most common situation is when you’re switching to a new pharmacy software platform. In this case, you’ll want to convert all of your data required to begin filling scripts on the system — which may include customer, doctor, drug, and script data and images and documents — from the old platform to the new one.
Another common reason for data conversion is when you’re merging two (or more) pharmacies together, either due to a closure, acquisition, or for logistical purposes. In this case, you’ll need to combine data from both pharmacies into a single system so it can be easily accessed and managed going forward.
Next, here are seven types of critical healthcare data pharmacies store that you’ll need to consider throughout the conversion process.
Your patient/customer records are some of the most critical data in your pharmacy. Make sure all patient data — including contact information, prescription history, and insurance information — is accurately converted to the new platform. This ensures that when accessing this information in the future, your patient’s current and past drug information is readily available to avoid drug interactions, accurately timed refills and correct prescriptions to corresponding patients.
Next, you’ll need to convert all records for the drugs and formulations you carry in your pharmacy. This data includes things like drug name, manufacturer, dosage, and price. It also includes any special instructions for dispensing the drug, such as storage requirements that you have listed in your existing system. Note, however, that often the new vendor requires a net new rebuild of the drug file.
Your patients’ insurance information — such as their policy number, dependent number, relationship code, and primary insured — will need to be converted to the new platform to provide accuracy and continued convenience for both yourself and your patients. Plan information is proprietary from vendor to vendor. Because of this, this information requires a translation from old legacy plan code to new vendor code based on BIN and PCN.
Further, pharmacies will want to maintain data on the insurance companies they work with, such as address and contact information for the insurance company. Often the new vendor supplies this information within their new plan file.
Aside from your patient data, the most essential data which you need brought across accurately to your new system is your prescription data. This data includes the date the prescription was written, filled, and the quantity of medication written for and dispensed. Other critical information for a smooth transition included copay, third parties, third party payments, and the links to the patient, the doctor who prescribed the medication, and the drug written and dispensed itself. Throughout the data conversion process for your pharmacy you will have an opportunity to validate all information prior to loading the live production data to your new pharmacy system .
If you use an electronic signature capture system in your pharmacy, signature data can be transferred to the new platform or loaded to an archive. This data includes the date and time of the signature and the name of the person who signed. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure any images of signatures are transferred over as well.
Another necessary type of data that pharmacies need to track is inventory data. This data includes information on the drugs and formulations they have in stock, as well as data on current on hand quantities, reorder points, and reorder quantities.
Pharmacies can also choose to leverage reports by adding a pharmacy data archive to their repertoire during the conversion process. Archiving pertinent data that cannot be brought across to the new system will allow for the pharmacy to generate PDF reports related to prescribing physicians, drugs, patients, and prescription dispensing history in order to make better business decisions in the future.
One situation wherein many pharmacies are looking for data conversion services is during acquisitions and mergers. In this case, data from two or more systems must be combined into one, with the data from at least one pharmacy needing to be converted to do so.
Data conversion can be even more complex and time-consuming in these situations. This highlights the importance of working with pharmacy data management experts to ensure a smooth transition for your pharmacy.
Regardless of why a pharmacy is seeking data conversion services, their top considerations must include accuracy, compliance, and completeness.
First and foremost, data must be converted accurately. This means all necessary data must be transferred correctly to the new platform, from patient records to inventory data. Any errors in the data conversion process can lead to serious disruptions in pharmacy operations and even customer safety.
Another important consideration for data conversion is compliance. Pharmacies are subject to numerous regulatory requirements, including those related to data privacy and security. As such, any data conversion solution used must be compliant with these regulations.
Ensuring the accuracy of your data that is to be brought across to the new system is essential prior to the final load as most vendors will only allow for either a single load or place a strict deadline on when information can be brought across. Most vendors will not allow any additional data to be loaded past the deadline so performing your due diligence that this information is accounted for during the conversion process will allow for a more seamless transition to the new system. Having a conversion company as part of this process significantly helps reduce your overall risk.
At Two Point, we understand how important it is to get your data conversion right. We offer comprehensive data conversion services for pharmacies that will help you transition your data from one platform to another quickly and accurately. Our team of experts will work with you to ensure that all of your data – including patient records, drug records, insurance information, and prescription logs – is converted correctly.
Contact us today to learn more.