Data Conversion Service: What Healthcare Needs to Know About Switching Software

Healthcare, Pharmacy

November 19th, 2020

Healthcare organizations switch software regularly. When this occurs, they need to contract for a data conversion service. Read the post to get the facts.

data conversion service

Healthcare is still in the midst of its digital transformation. To digitize certain areas, they often switch to a new health information system (HIS) software. While this is standard practice for healthcare and any business, the act of moving data from one system to another isn’t easy. It requires you to contract for a data conversion service. 

But what’s the right service for your organization? And what do you need to know before you choose a data conversion partner?

Data Conversion Service: The Options

There are several ways to commence a data conversion in healthcare. Let’s look at your options.

Manual Data Conversion

Manual data conversion options are still available. But this is 2020, and manual doesn’t feel very digitally transformative. The reality is that you can hire people to rekey all your patient profiles and other information. 

Such a process is likely to be lengthy, expensive, and risky. In a fast-paced world, where healthcare is on the brink of no capacity, this isn’t going to work. Plus, it’s ripe with concerns about accuracy and human error. 

Fully Automated Data Conversions

With sophisticated technology, a fully automated data conversion would seem superior. However, for it to be 100% accurate, there can be no field matching issues. Field matching describes how programmers map fields in the existing software to the new software. While HIS systems are similar, they are not without differences. 

To have perfect field matching from one system to another is rather impossible. Going this route is fast, but you’ll have manual cleanup on the other side.

Customized Hybrid Data Conversions

The third option for data conversions is the most popular and accurate. There are elements of automation in it for field matching but also custom programming to align them. Further, this process includes validation and QA. It has a step by step workflow that takes into consideration compliance and security, as well. 

This approach can occur quickly as long as each stakeholder meets their requirements. Your existing software needs to release the data. The data conversion service provider does a test pull and processes the data. Then they send it for validation to you and your new software partner. After validation, the data conversion company makes tweaks and sends it to QA. After final review, the final data pull occurs, and you’re live.

Key Things to Consider for a Data Conversion Service

data conversion service programmer

No matter which option you choose, there are some critical things healthcare organizations need to know. 

  • Your provider should have specialized experience in healthcare data conversions, not just general capabilities.
  • Security and compliance are mandatory, so the provider’s process should be HIPAA and HITRUST compliant.
  • Custom programming is almost always necessary to account for field mismatches, so your provider should be capable of this. 
  • Testing and QA are necessary; if you want to ensure accuracy, your vendor can’t cut corners.
  • Validation is the responsibility of you, your new software company, and your data conversion company. It’s a team effort to get it right for your go-live.
  • Data conversion companies shouldn’t nickel and dime you. Many organizations find that out of scope charges mount quickly. Define the scope and have in your contract the fees in full so that you’re fully aware of the fiscal responsibility. 

A Data Conversion Service You Can Trust

Migrating to a new platform could improve your workflows and help you deliver better care to patients. But it starts with accuracy in your data conversion. After two decades of mastering data conversions for healthcare, we’d love to provide you more information. 

Download our eBook, The Definitive Guide to Healthcare Data Conversions, to learn more. 

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