50,000 Patient Appointments: EHR Migration / RPA Success

Boston Software Systems collaborated with a leading regional university hospital / health system in a series of EHR migration and other data initiatives. One of the leading EHR data migration priorities of the organization was focused on patient appointment data.

A leading regional university hospital…

  • Over 1,000 staff medical and administrative staff
  • 450 bed facility serving a population of over 390,000 persons
  • Multi-faceted care including surgery, ER / trauma, ambulatory, oncology, dialysis, rehabilitation
  • Healthcare academic / teaching programs

Frequently, appointment data is not included as a key element in EHR migration planning. As critical as it is simple, appointment data is a key to care in hospitals and health systems. Numerous touchpoints pivot on appointments linking registration, patient care, medical / administrative staffing, procedure space, equipment, facility operations, diagnostics, pharmacy, billing and other institutional units or functions.

The scale of the appointment data migration was significant…

  • Over 50,000 patient appointments needed to be migrated
  • 1.25 million keystrokes would be required to move the data manually
  • Accuracy levels were critical and the volume of data entries required would increase the level of errors in the appointment data

Patient appointment data helps ensure a quality EHR implementation…

This health system realized how important appointment data is and wanted to be certain the complete implementation of their new EHR system would be flawless. The organization had experienced issues with other data migration methods in the past. If the 50,000+ patient appointments were transferred via manual data entry by staff and / or outsourced personnel, it would require thousands of hours and dollars to complete. Data quality would be less than ideal based on human error and volume of appointment records involved.

By directly accounting for patient appointment data within the EHR data migration project; continuity of patient care is maintained with minimal impact on medical / administrative staff units, facilities, operations and patients. It was imperative accurate patient appointment data to be in place Day 1 of go-live.

Robotic process automation / RPA was integral to the success of the initiative…

Patient appointment data is ideal for robotic process automation / RPA to orchestrate an accurate, complete, quick and economic transfer of information for healthcare provider organizations to take advantage of. RPA provides a high level of precision which is integral to data quality and the rate by which it processes data cannot be matched by human data entry methods which means data migration projects and other initiatives are completed according to schedules and within budgets.

Project Overview…

Automations were designed, built, QA’d, tested and put into production. Goals centered on accuracy, speed and completeness to be certain the migration project was accomplished according to the specific goals and objectives of the initiative.

Key phases:

  • Input files from which to source legacy scheduling data were created along with other setup features to support the EHR data migration exercises
  • The automations precisely accounted for each of the 25+ steps to locate, identify, select, transfer and correctly place within the new scheduling system
  • Multiple computers were used to accelerate processing of data from the input files and precisely place it in the individual patient record profiles in the new scheduling system
  • Data errors encountered in the process were partitioned into exception reports for remediation, corrected and reintroduced into the automation workflow so as not to require further manual data entry for it to be placed in the new scheduling system
  • Ongoing, detailed reports were generated to maintain schedule, budget and quality parameters
  • The Boston Software Systems data management console (Active Data Quality / ADQ) validated extractions and normalized data before go-live and provided ongoing reports
  • RPA enabled 100% of the data migration to be automated offloading the burden from staff and other stakeholders

Results…

The health system exceeded their EHR migration goals while substantially reducing costs and complexity for the entire health system:

  • All of the approximately 50,000+ patient appointments were in place prior to Day 1 of new EHR go-live
  • RPA converted multiple manual steps into automated processes; accuracy levels approaching 100% were achieved as human / technical error was eliminated
  • Medical and administrative personnel have immediate, uniform access to patient data and other information through one source
  • Inconvenience and time wasted spent toggling between data sources was eliminated; the financial / technical drag of spending time, money in maintaining two systems was offloaded
  • Organizational productivity was increased; RPA enabled the data migration to proceed accurately, quickly, economically, hospital staff were able to focus on their primary roles and not the project
  • Potential issues involving patient care and associated staff, procedure, equipment, facility and other scheduling elements were eliminated
  • The RPA solution developed can be readily used for appointment data migrations in the future as well as with other hospitals and facilities in their organization

All too frequently, healthcare provider organizations settle for incomplete and less than ideal EHR migration results. Through strategic deployment of RPA, they can accurately, quickly and economically move more data from their legacy system into their new EHR system. This results in higher user satisfaction for medical and administrative staff, validates the investment in the new EHR system while reducing data fatigue and costs.

A thorough migration initiative enables users to truly benefit from the new system and allows them to break away from the legacy system so it can be retired. This eliminates IT complexity and maintenance expenses. RPA is an economic and technical ally which empowers healthcare provider organizations to accomplish these objectives and more effectively deliver advanced patient care at less cost.

Moving Forward…

The health system and its patient care mission realized the complete advantages of a new EHR system sooner and with less issues via the application of RPA technology. They are empowered to harness their own data resources with Boston Software Systems RPA technology to make a productive difference across their organization. Based on the success of this initiative, they are actively applying RPA to other data workflows and data applications in their organization.

By strategically applying automation to other aspects of their organization to multiply the success of this initiative, they are maximizing their ability to make data more useful in a short amount of time. They are able to devote more staff, financial and technical resources towards patient care and positive outcomes while reducing data management issues and expenses.