RPA drives 5 million patient record EHR migration success

A prominent health system with over 35 hospitals and 70 care centers was migrating its legacy EHR platform to a new EHR system. It was seeking to provide medical and administrative staff with a well-fortified healthcare information resource spanning the entire organization. They were disadvantaged with inconvenient, limited access to data residing in the legacy EHR system and having to toggle between old and new EHR sources. Accessing the old system slowed workflows in addition to creating complexity and expense issues for the organization.

Scope…

The scale of the project was significant; over 5 million records from 4 different EHR categories were involved:

  • Appointments: 29,412 records
  • Immunizations: 2,146,090 records
  • Notes: 1,769,401 records
  • Registrations: 1,653,939 records

Goals…

Through migrating records from the legacy EHR platform to their new EHR system, the healthcare provider organization was taking action to:

  • Reduce cost and IT complexity by discontinuing use of the old EHR platform
  • Boost organizational productivity in over 100 facilities; reduce staff data fatigue
  • Improve patient care; enable medical and administrative staff to utilize one EHR system

If the migration of the 4 different categories of EHR data was performed manually, the transfer of over 5 million patient records would have been cost and time prohibitive; plus, accuracy and data quality would suffer. Some or all 4 of the patient data categories likely would have stayed with the legacy EHR platform, preventing it from being shut down. This would have resulted in a less effective new EHR resource unless a reliable and cost effective solution was determined.

They strategically assessed their options and moved forward with an effective plan to completely migrate the data with robotic process automation / RPA to establish a long term healthcare information resource for their organization. It was important for them to complete the EHR migration within a defined timeline to prevent disruption and cost overruns.

Solution…

The health system and Boston Software Systems collaborated on developing a series of robotic process automation / RPA-driven solutions. Through using Boston WorkStation (BWS) RPA technology and capitalizing on Boston Software Systems’ extensive healthcare experience, they were confident in their ability to achieve their objectives. RPA is an essential technology in the migration of EHR data plus other healthcare data optimization applications.

Project Overview…

Automations were designed, built, QA’d, tested and put into production for the 4 migration categories. Goals were 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:

  • Complete data from each of the four categories (appointments, immunizations, notes, registration) was accounted for with each having its own automation solution
  • Input files from which to source legacy EHR data were created along with other setup features to facilitate the EHR migration exercises
  • 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 EHR 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 EHR system
  • Ongoing, detailed reports were generated to assess the progress of each of the 4 data migration categories to maintain schedule, budget and quality parameters.

Results…

Months of staff time, excessive expenses and ongoing issues from a manual data-driven EHR migration were avoided. Over 5 million records from 4 EHR categories were completely migrated in 5 weeks:

  • Appointment issues involving patient calendar, staffing, medical procedures, tests, facilities and other elements were eliminated; workflows improved and costs reduced
  • Immunization status of patients is more accurate; vaccination history does not have to be recollected by patients or validated by staff and manually re-entered
  • Notes data provides immediate insights to critical patient care details; gaps are eliminated and delays in researching and manually re-entering them are avoided
  • Registration data improves patient admitting, transfer, discharge workflows; information for care, billing, ongoing communications is complete; patient care proceeds smoothly, workflows improve and staff data burden is reduced

The legacy EHR system was retired; resulting in immediate reductions in expense and complexity. With essential, complete data residing in the new EHR system; it is a robust, cost effective resource for medical and administrative staff. Each of the 35 hospitals and over 70 care centers in the health system boosted organizational productivity and EHR user satisfaction while reducing data burden and ongoing costs; patient care improved.

Moving forward…

The health system continues to benefit from its comprehensive EHR migration initiatives. It is better positioned to provide higher levels of patient care and flexibly accommodate new developments as the industry changes and their organization grows. RPA is a strategic resource they rely on to improve other existing data workflows as well as develop new ones. Their EHR migration experience demonstrates how RPA functions as a digitized workforce and is a cost effective solution to maximize healthcare information system data performance to provide higher levels of patient care at less cost.