Mergers & Abstractions: Merging EMRs Feels Like A Forced March

Recently, Healthcare Informatics published an article, Considerations for Successful Clinical Data Abstraction.

As the author points out, when moving either from paper charts to EHRs or from legacy EMRs to EHRs, migrating clinically valuable data often involves manual abstraction. 

For those involved in the manual abstraction effort, the tedious nature of this work can feel like a forced march. As a result, EHR implementation costs rise, data quality deteriorates and morale suffers. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Intelligent clinical data abstraction transforms a manual, expensive and error-prone process into a fast and efficient one.

In addition to the author’s excellent suggestions to achieve data abstraction success, I’d add that enabling the data abstractors on the EMR migration team with the proper tools must be high on the list as well.

Furthermore, clinicians are often unpleasantly surprised at the amount of manual data abstraction that still needs to be done after the EHR is fully implemented. Getting this process right at the point of migration will ensure success down the road.

If you’re implementing a new EHR, merging EHR systems or still manually abstracting charts after going live, intelligent clinical data abstraction technology must be high on your list of requirements.


About the Author: Greg Gies

For 20 years in the software industry, Greg Gies has been helping businesses, government agencies and healthcare organizations achieve their goals and carry out their missions by making better use of information and automating business processes. Greg has held positions in sales, product management and marketing and holds an MBA from Babson College. He works and lives with his wife and three boys in the Boston area.