Top tips for a successful data migration
Exiting the National programme in July 2016? Let us help you reduce the risks associated with Data Migration
Many trusts will be exiting the National Programme in July 2016. This is only a few months away and a few months is not long in the world of Healthcare IT.
There is time however, to plan a successful and stress free data migration; from extraction from source systems, data quality assessment and preparation for the data transformation to the new system.
What is important is to get the data migration strategy in place and the migration carefully planned, as good quality reliable data is the bedrock to many clinical decisions and ultimately can improve patient outcomes.
It doesn’t matter too much at this early stage if fundamental decisions, such as identifying a replacement system, have yet to take place. What is important at this point is that data migration has been considered and a strategy is in place including archive of data which you do not wish to migrate.
Many areas need consideration. If the data migration process should encounter problems, costs will escalate and more time will be needed to manage the project and to bring it back on track. It’s crucial to plan ahead to ensure as much as possible that this is not going to happen.
Here are a few pointers to ensure a successful data migration;
Plan ahead! Although July 2016 may seem a long way off it will soon come around. To carry out all the tasks that are required to successfully migrate the relevant data, will take a minimum of 9 months and usually projects will need a year. Those trusts who plan ahead and have a timeline established for key dates and milestones are more likely to achieve a successful data migration on time and within budget.
Consider who will be working on the data migration and how much time they will be able to dedicate to it. If you need to recruit do it now. Staffing resources need careful planning as much as anything else and the project manager, database administrators, analysts, data quality experts and compliance staff will all have a role to play.
Make a decision on how to manage the extraction of data from the legacy source systems (and there is usually more than a single source of data) which will be required to transition to the replacement system(s).
Examine the data quality; duplicates, incorrect coding, deceased patients still ‘live’. These are common issues which can be addressed if considered in the early stages. Getting the data quality as good as it can be before migrating any data, using specialist tools, will mean avoiding problems further down the line.
Fully analyse your data capture, transformation and processes for RTT, as this is an area that often causes big problems as you move from one system to another.
If there is a merger or more than one trust PAS, you need to bear in mind how rules and algorithms will be managed to allow multiple trusts’ data to merge.
Consider how much trial load support you may need and plan trial loads realistically into your time line.
Discuss how you will handover data files to the new system provider for take on into the new system and how you will test and validate the new data to ensure maximum data integrity.
Develop a robust testing strategy.
Think about what to do with the data you CAN’T/ DON’T want to migrate. You may need to procure an archive with a web based and secure viewer.
Stalis are experts with extensive experience in large scale data migration projects to and from a variety of healthcare systems. Our activities to support the data migration workstream in a PAS replacement project always run to time and budget with no loss of data during migration. We will be pleased to help you plan your data migration strategy and, if required, can manage the project from beginning to end so if any aspect of your plan needs further support, advice and guidance, please do contact us at