Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

10 Tips for a Successful Migration to Epic

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Migrating to Epic is one of the largest and most complex EHR conversion projects a healthcare organization can launch. Typically, hundreds of interfaces need to be converted or implemented, which requires the coordination of dozens of individuals, including project managers, application analysts, interface analysts, and integration engineers, to execute on schedule without negatively impacting day-to-day operations. It is a huge undertaking, but with the right amount of preparation and teamwork an organization can realize the benefits!

We surveyed the Rhapsody Professional Services team to compile a list of the most common challenges they encounter when helping customers successfully migrate to Epic’s EHR system. We hope the following suggestions will help you and your organization successfully join the growing Epic user community.

Tips for a successful Epic migration
IT leaders should immediately begin talking to colleagues from other departments to ensure there is buy-in at every level and to identify and address potential roadblocks early in the process.

Project Managers should collaborate early and often with their interface teams, application teams, and integration engine vendor to determine the best migration strategy for their particular organization. This includes deciding whether or not to have rolling go-lives of interface groups in phases, or to have a “big-bang” type of go-live, in which all interfaces are brought into production during a single scheduled event.

Clearly delineate responsibilities. All stakeholders working on the migration should have clear knowledge of their expectations, including which aspects of the migration they will be responsible for, the process for communicating project status updates, etc.

Assign an analyst to every application. You will need someone to thoroughly test and sign off on each new interface prior to production.

Consider your old data: Will you leave it in the old EHR system or do you plan to backload it into Epic? If so, which systems’ data do you want to include?

Interface teams should take inventory of their current environment – make a list of existing applications and interfaces to identify those that are staying and those that need to be converted. Take the time to diagram the current interface environment and also create a diagram that depicts what it will look like after the Epic migration.

You will have MRNs in your old system that do not match the new MRNs in Epic. How will you reconcile the records of current patients being recorded in Epic with their information in the old system? Where will you retain legacy MRNs and how will they be communicated in the HL7 message traffic?

Epic is very “chatty” compared to other common EHR systems, typically sending several times more ADT messages. There are settings that can help curb the number of messages. You’ll need to develop a strategy to ensure your integration engine can keep up with the increased flow of messages.

Does your current ADT feed send ROL and CON segments? How about A31s? Do your downstream applications need them? If not, you can filter these segments out using your integration engines. Do not send messages that are not needed or important.

If you are moving forward with a cloud implementation of your EHR, consider the nuances with connectivity between your EHR and applications that may still be on-premise. The future hybrid state may require thinking through a few additional variables, and you can have the same type of resiliency and security required.

If you feel like your dates are going to slip because of integration challenges ahead, let’s talk before you continue down the path any further! Don’t sacrifice quality or continue with an unrealistic timeline given the current conditions. Rhapsody has enabled many organizations through the years to make this transition to Epic. If you can provide us with a seat at the table, we can help you plan a successful migration and share our integration expertise and best practices.

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