While data transfer is not new to the technology world, it brings a whole new meaning to me in the Behavioral Health world. I am speaking, of course, of the process where one takes health information from one source (hard copy or electronic) and transfers this data to another electronic data source. At Coleman Behavioral Health, we are expanding to three new Ohio counties and must transfer approximately 2,400 individuals into our Qualifacts electronic health record (EHR) system. To document management professionals this process is routine; yet to administrators in the Behavioral Health world this process seems foreign. It is my contention, that administrator should at least understand the process in order to make effective decisions.
In the data document business, the process of managing data is often referred to ECM or electronic content management; some refer this also as enterprise content management. When data needs to be transferred from hard copy to electronic copy, this is often described as back file conversion. I know many of my peers are getting PDF files down on their customer’s health records and then saving their PDF files to their new EHR documents. Coleman has been fortunate to operate a document management business, Coleman Data Solutions, for more than 20 years. So I am a bit more familiar with the historical changes from the old fashion data entry business to the new web-base ECM business process.
In today’s world, when electronic content is to be transferred into a new medium or EHR, database specialists are used to successfully transfer data from one system to common database software and then transfer this data into the new EHR. This sounds complicated and has its difficulties. I suggest using competent a database specialist who has experience in transferring data and have competent programming skills to make effective changes as issues arise. For BH administrators, EHR is frightening enough not to mention should data of a scheduled psychiatry appointment be dropped! By becoming more knowledgeable about this industry, administrators can be more effectively prepared to make responsible decisions.