Tips on Formulating a Migration Strategy for Legacy Documents & Data

    June 2020 | Steve Leroux, Director of MIS Services

    News and Events, Data Preservation & Migration


    Forward Advantage has worked with many organizations on their journey to Expanse. This 3-part blog series shares tips and strategies for  streamlining your transition and preserving your valuable data.

    The first installment provides an overview of the planning and testing process – with key questions to ask along the way.

    HubSpot Video


    Preparing for a Migration

    A successful migration requires asking the right questions upfront. This helps determine which information you want to keep and where you need it go. For instance, do you want everything brought over to MEDITECH, or should some things temporarily or permanently remain in your existing systems or another storage solution?

    Below is a list of questions to help guide you through this process. Taking an inventory of your data and documents will help you decide which type of migration best suits your needs.

    1. What kind of data do you have?

    For example: Archives, Images, Patient, Business Office?

    2. What systems need to be converted?
    How is the data stored?

    How many documents/pages are there?

    3. How much archiving has been done?

    4. Where do you want to access the data?

    For example: Patient Chart, Echart, etc.?

    5. What is your data retention policy?

    Does it make sense to import all documents or be selective? Can an exception be made to the policy for the conversion?


    Common Challenges

    Migrating to a new system is complicated process regardless of the approach. Not only is it important to ask the right questions upfront, but it’s equally important to be aware of anticipated challenges. Whether you’re migrating to MEDITECH, a new version of MEDITECH, or just decommissioning a legacy system, these approaches all share common challenges:

    • Requirements of the new system
    • Appearance and quality of original file
    • Time
    • Data access
    • Cost of maintaining and older system

    • Possible loss of some key automation or analytics


    Know Your Options

    Most hospitals and health systems choose one of four options when doing a migration:

    1. Migrate to a New EHR

    Complete transfer of all documents into the new system

    2. Partial Migration

    Maintaining your legacy system

    3. Archive Viewer

    Access the data you need, when you need it

    4. Migrating to New EHR + Archive Viewer

    Utilize an Archive Viewer for temporary storage during the migration and/or as a long term solution

    I'll cover the benefits and challenges of these four options in part 2 of this series, however knowing the structure and requirements of your legacy system or EHR will help you understand which option will work best for you.  At Forward Advantage, we've done migrations to MEDITECH from many systems, some of which are listed below, and can offer insight into the challenges of each: 

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    What to Expect When You’re Testing

    Testing is a big part of the migration process with the goal of ensuring optimal quality and that the data is where it’s supposed to be. Forward Advantage tries to test a little of everything, and we encourage customers to test until they’re fully satisfied. Once everything is loaded into MEDITECH Expanse, doing any cleanup after-the-fact can be tricky.

    MIS BP process


    Key Takeaways

    Planning well in advance of your migration to MEDITECH Expanse is the key to a smooth transition. Take a detailed inventory of your data and know what questions should be asked upfront. Use the list at the top of this post to help you prepare for a consultation with a migration specialist. 

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