February 5, 2020

Communication Director and MEDITECH Expanse: Planning for the Changes

Written by: 

Kevin Frazier

, Manager of Client Services

This 3 part  series covers essential points of transitioning Communication Director to work with MEDITECH Expanse.  While written for existing Communication Director and MEDITECH customers, some of the information here may also be valuable to those moving to MEDITECH for the first time or considering Communication Director as their report distribution software. 

Planning For the Changes

If you haven’t already, read my last blog post on transitioning Communication Director to MEDITECH Expanse. My last post covered the changes to expect, including a potential upgrade to Communication Director 4 platform  and reconfiguration of DesktopFax and existing SmartRoutes.

With changes required for Expanse, how do you plan for it?

My goal for this post is to give you a basic timeframe and guidelines. This is not etched in stone, it is just a recommendation. Every instance of MEDITECH and Communication Director is a little different. You may need to alter this timeline to meet your own workflow.

Six Months Before Go-Live

Contact Forward Advantage about six months before your go-live to begin the process of setting up and planning for your migration. We’ll discuss your current system configurations, look at fax volumes, and review your options for moving forward. After which, we’ll put together a proposal to guide us in moving forward.

Three Months Before Go-Live

About three months before you go live, Forward Advantage will schedule these tasks:

3 months before go-live

One of the most important tasks from the list above is that you will need to schedule a task with MEDITECH for MIS Toolbox configuration for DesktopFax. We recommend doing this three months before your MEDITECH Expanse go-live.

One Month Before Go-Live

A month ahead of go-live, we’ll actually do the reconfiguration.

1 month reconfiguration tasks

If you require upgrading to version 4 or 4.1 of Communication Director, we’ll do that at this time. After your reports are in their final formats, we will modify your SmartRoutes to accommodate the new reports.

Your Person Dictionary should be populated, so we’ll work on importing that into either the upgraded Communication Director system or your existing system. Assuming that the MIS Toolbox change is in place, we’ll go ahead and configure DesktopFax for use in the web applications. Lastly, we’ll test all the new configurations to make sure they’re working right.

An important component during this time is training, especially for those migrating from MAGIC or a non-MEDITECH environment. There will be administrative training but DesktopFax training is highly recommended.

Two Weeks Before Go-Live

A couple of weeks before your go-live, we encourage you to keep testing for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that we want to ensure that the SmartRoutes are working properly. The second reason is to ensure that your users have plenty of time to get used to DesktopFax to avoid unforeseen issues when you go live.


On or near your go-live day, Forward Advantage will help you cutover if necessary, whether that’s to a new server, an existing server, or new SmartRoutes. How we help you on that day is entirely up to you. Some customers choose to do the cutover the night before go-live or on the go-live day. There’s a lot of things going on during that time, so we will accommodate whichever approach works best for you.

Early planning and open communication are the keys to a successful transition. Forward Advantage is here to help you every step of the way to ensure that Communication Director works as you expect in your MEDITECH Expanse environment.


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