Healthcare Data Migration: Tools, Problems and Solutions

Healthcare Data Migration: Tools, Problems and  Solutions
Data migration is a complex process that requires a clear strategy and careful planning. Healthcare data migration has specific issues because the data is sensitive and valuable. In this article, we focus on the healthcare data migration process flow and provide an overview of the necessary tools and possible pitfalls.

What is Data Migration in Healthcare

Data migration in healthcare is the process of moving information about the patients and their medical data from one storage place to another.

Data migration in healthcare industry is driven by the need to move Electronic Health Records (EHRs). It is the system that stores and manages all the information about a patient in a single and secure location. Migrating data to more advanced storage that includes restricted access and analytical features is one of the stages of EHR implementation.

Health data migration to EHR is often triggered by the need to abandon a legacy system that doesn’t have enough capacity to be effective in the business environment of a hospital. Due to the specific issues of the healthcare data migration process, you have to choose from three types of healthcare data migration tools, depending on the use case and final destination of your data.

Healthcare Data Migration Tools

There are several data migration steps, and choosing the right tool for this process is the first one. Below are three types of data migration services for healthcare that you may choose for this task.

  • Self-scripted tools. These are the tools created for a specific project migrating data. As for the applicability of this approach in healthcare, you can choose it when you have a small amount of well-structured data (which is quite rare in the medical industry) or when none of the other available tools fit your data migration plan.
  • On-premise tools. This type of data migration software is more suitable for healthcare data migration. It is a wise choice if the need to migrate data is driven by a healthcare company’s merger or acquisition - since in this case data arrays will be moved within the same network and enterprise. A data migration tool of this type becomes the only choice if compliance or security requirements restrict using cloud tools for data migration and storage.

Example - Astera Centerprise. This on-premise software is quite helpful for the data migration process when the data itself is complex and will be moved from a legacy system. The program enables the use of SQL in data migration in the healthcare industry, plus this is one of the few tools that make no-coding data migration possible.

  • Cloud tools. These are the most advanced tools which are quite suitable for healthcare data migration. However, make sure you choose a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA) data migration solution and that the new data storage is compliant with the rules.

Example - StarfishETL. The platform runs on the AWS Data Migration Service, which is HIPAA-compliant and is worth considering if you plan to use cloud data migration. This tool allows your data migration healthcare specialists to stay focused on security and scalability during the migration process.

Phases of Healthcare Data Migration

After you are done with a health care data migration tool, it’s time for the migration process. Below is how a 4 phase healthcare data migration process looks.

  1. Data Analysis. According to most migration plans, this is the first step toward seamless data migration. You have to analyze the data, find the pieces of information you no longer need, highlight those of the highest value, and get an impression of the data format currently followed.
  2. Data Structuring. Healthcare data often comes in different formats, so you have to structure and classify it. At this stage, keep your future business goals and data use cases in mind, since the better the structure you achieve at this stage, the more effectively you will be able to work with your data after your healthcare data migration is complete.
  3. Data Conversion. EHR data conversion is the next stage of healthcare data migration. You have to convert your data into a single format that is suitable for a seamless and safe migration to the new storage solution.
  4. Data Migration. It is the last stage of the data migration of an electronic health record system, during which the data is moved piece by piece.

Healthcare Data Migration Problems

Data migration in the healthcare industry has specific challenges.

  • Lack of planning. Despite the specifics of healthcare data migration, the best practices for planning such projects are still applicable. One of the best approaches to seamless EHR data migration is a data migration plan validation by your vendor.
  • Data quality. The quality of your data also influences the success of the EHR migration. Before getting started with a healthcare data migration, work on improving your data quality. Use techniques, such as data profiling and data normalization, and develop data quality standards that work for your business goals.
  • Data security, privacy and compliance requirements. There are several healthcare data migration problems you may face, but the issue of security, privacy, and compliance are the most important ones. To avoid problems in these areas, make sure to choose the right data migration tool and partner with a tech-savvy data migration vendor, preferably with experience in creating solutions for the healthcare industry.

Conclusion

Healthcare data migration is a process that needs a clear strategy, realistic expectations, and strong technical support. Cprime | Archer specialists would be happy to help you with your data migration planning, choosing the right tools, and aligning your healthcare business growth goals with the opportunities that data migration promises.

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