Options for a Successful Migration to MEDITECH Expanse

    August 2021 | Steve Leroux, Director of MIS Services

    Expert Insights, Partners, Data Preservation & Migration, MEDITECH Solutions

    Forward Advantage has been performing MEDITECH conversions since 2010. To date, we have completed more than 200 projects (converting over 2 billion files from dozens of systems). Additionally, Forward Advantage’s Find-It solution was co-developed with MEDITECH to provide optical character recognition for MEDITECH Business Office documents.

    There are many factors to keep in mind when migrating legacy documents into MEDITECH Expanse. There are certain critical success factors that must be considered regardless of whether you are migrating from a previous MEDITECH platform or a third-party vendor, along with a series of questions that should be asked up front.

    It is also essential to educate yourself on available resources, such as optical character recognition and alternate storage options for overflow documents, that will allow you to maximize your investment. 
    The list of tips below is a helpful starting point for your MEDITECH Expanse migration. As with all migration projects, migrating legacy documents can be a lengthy, in-depth process, but we hope these 4 tips will help your project launch in the right direction.


    1. Identify Critical Success Factors

    Migrating years’ worth of important data into MEDITECH’s SCA is not a project to be taken lightly. It involves extensive planning and testing, and, even then, it won’t be successful unless the following critical success factors are considered:
    • Departmental involvement
    •  Stakeholder and team member alignment
    •  Involvement from applicable staff
    Timing for maintaining data
    Regulatory and legal perspectives
    Legacy application consideration
    Systems included in the project scope

    2. Know the Facts

    MEDITECH provides a number of inbound conversions for historical documents from other vendors. Outsourcing your migration to a vendor who is familiar with MEDITECH and these conversions simplifies the process. However, it is important to note that there will always be complications due to the complexity of these projects.
    Also, conversions may take a long time to complete. The volume of data to be migrated, availability of resources, and overall complexity of the project all play a role in determining the time frame. Lastly, perfection costs money and time. Organizations can’t typically afford to handle these types of migrations in-house.

    3. Ask Questions

    Even the most prepared organizations will run into complications with their migration. This is a fact due to the complexity and scope of these projects.
    However, it is possible to minimize these complications by asking yourself the right kind of questions up front. 
    What kind of data do you have?

    • Clinical, Business Office, Both?
    • Scans?
    • MEDITECH Archives?
    • Stored Reports?
    • Discrete?

    What systems need to be converted?
    How is the data stored (on-premise or cloud)?

    How many documents/pages are there?

    How much archiving has been done? Is archiving finished?

    How do you want to access the data?

    What is your data retention policy?
    Does it make sense to import all documents or be selective?


    4. Test Until You're Satisfied

    How many images should be tested? This is a common question from organizations undergoing a migration. In short, organizations should test until they feel satisfied. For large conversions, it is simply not practical to test 100 percent of the images. Testing should include a range of images (the oldest, most recent, and a lot of what falls in the middle). Patient-based testing allows for a side-by-side comparison of what’s been converted from the source system to how it appears in the target system.

    The list below provides a breakdown of sample sizes to be tested:
    Small sample (images for 10 patients or less)
    Medium Sample (10,000 images grouped by patient)

    Larger Samples (250,000-500,000 images grouped by patient)

    Once images are loaded in LIVE it is difficult to make corrections. Gaining confidence in the results achieved through thorough testing is crucial.


    We hope these tips help set you up for success and prepare you to handle any obstacles that arise during your migration. While it's our goal and the goal of our customers to have an efficient migration, it's an unfortunate fact that all migrations will likely run into at least a few complications during the project.  Preparing early and setting the right expectations with your internal team and vendor will go a long way to mitigate as many unexpected hurdles as possible.

    Interested in learning more? Check out my upcoming live webinar that covers more details on migrating to MEDITECH Expanse or MaaS.

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