RPA Technology to Increase Accuracy and Speed of EHR Migration: Surgical Preference Cards

Boston Software Systems collaborated with a leading regional health system on a series of robotic process automation (RPA) software solutions and platform migration initiatives. It is a prominent provider comprised of 3 hospitals, an oncology treatment center, several multi-specialty treatment centers and more than 150 access points which include urgent care, outpatient imaging, cardiac testing and other services. The organization also supports a sizable academic health program. On an annual basis the health system performs over 24,000 surgical procedures and delivers over 4,000 babies.

As part of an EHR conversion initiative and specified in the EHR project charter, Boston Software Systems created a series of process automations for surgical preference cards, a unique and specialized document used in hospitals / health systems and their outpatient surgery centers. The surgical preference card specifies items / materials a surgeon needs to complete a particular procedure. It is a pivotal resource used by nurses and other staff to assemble the correct supplies from stock and have them ready for each procedure in addition to providing other details necessary for operative patient care to succeed.  They also have a role in what purchasing / materials management staff use to determine items need to be procured as well as ongoing inventory levels necessary to support caseloads of surgeons and facilities.

Some surgical preference cards, which are also referred to as "surgeon preference cards" are highly standardized for basic / routine operations; these are known as “generic” preference cards. For most, the list of details varies with the individual preferences of surgeons. Depending on how advanced individual surgical procedures are, the cards can be extensively detailed based on the information entered into the surgeon preference card template.

Boston Software Systems developed an extensive series of automation services for use via Citrix-published Cerner; each card requiring a minimum of 50 base steps:

  • Automations processed surgical facility location, generic or surgeon-specific card type, multiple steps / entries based on pick / list individual item entries, descriptions and related fields
  • Steps continued to progress through segments, comments, reporting, archiving

Additional Details:

  • Multiple machines were deployed to facilitate automations
  • Due to non-standardization of content / categories / comments, most cards were processed in multiple stages to capture all data and maximize use of RPA / bots technology versus manual transfer


  • A mission-critical series of surgeon preference card template data was updated / transferred as a whole with direct ties to all surgical procedures performed by the health system
  • Clinician and administrative interests widely served across the organization
  • Our healthcare RPA solution ensured the EHR data migrated was much more accurate than what manual data entry processes could deliver.
  • Reduced burden on staff, budget resources and improved surgical workflows
  • Client makes better use of financial, data management, technical resources 

EHR migration initiatives have intertwined benefits and challenges. These are opportunities, as in the case of surgical preference cards, to discover new, highly specialized applications for RPA solutions and ways to accelerate and enhance EHR conversion initiatives. The outcomes are positive with better patient care, increased organizational competitiveness, staff productivity plus cost and complexity reduction.

For over 30 years, Boston Software Systems has been providing healthcare RPA and EHR conversion solutions for hospitals and health systems worldwide. Our pure focus in healthcare enables us to immediately connect with customers and partners to develop innovative, cost effective ways to apply RPA solutions to ensure a smooth EHR implementation.  EHR systems and overarching healthcare information systems present numerous opportunities to automate data workflows and streamline access to patient records with economic robotic process automation technology.

Contact us to have a conversation about your EHR project management challenges and goals.