Shore Health & Chester River: Migrate to MEDITECH's Scanning and Archiving with Forward Advantage
Shore Health and Chester River are two health systems that make up the mid-shore region of the University of Maryland Medical System. Both organizations use MEDITECH’s Client/Server 5.6.5 platform for their clinical HCIS and recently added on MEDITECH’s Scanning and Archiving (SCA) application to take advantage of the built-in integration.
Prior to SCA, Shore Health was using Valco for document imaging, and Chester River was using Quantim by Quadramed. Shore Health was facing the possibility of having its current Valco version sunset so began investigating alternative solutions that could benefit both health systems. “Our Medical Records team decided to go with MEDITECH because of the functionality that was allowed and the ease of use,” says Jason Youngbar, senior integration programmer at Shore Health. “In a lot of ways, it just made sense for us to stay with MEDITECH.” Although this move certainly made sense, both health systems faced the daunting task of having to convert millions of archived images from two disparate systems.
Selecting a Vendor with the Resources for an Efficient and Accurate Conversion
Shore Health and Chester River considered a number of factors when selecting a vendor for their scanned documents conversion, including: affordability, relationship with MEDITECH, and the number of resources available for the project. Forward Advantage got high marks in all categories.
“There are a limited number of vendors currently in this market, and the ones that I talked to were made up of only one or two people. They certainly didn’t have the strength in numbers that Forward Advantage has, and our concern was that they could drag the project out.”
-Jason Youngbar, Senior Integration Programmer, Shore Health System
Youngbar previously had positive experiences with Forward Advantage and its Vice President of Migration and Integration Services, Charles Williams. “We’ve had an outstanding relationship with Forward Advantage since implementing Communication Director in 2004, so they were already familiar with how we do things,” continues Youngbar. “We were nervous about trying to combine dissimilar scanning and archiving data; however, I’ve worked with Charles on various MEDITECH-related projects in the past and knew that he and his team could get it done.”
“We work closely with MEDITECH during a customer’s migration so that we can adapt to each of their conversion tasks and migrate documents as quickly as possible,” says Williams. “Our proprietary conversion tool gives us an advantage by simplifying the process for added efficiency and accuracy.”
Minimal Impact on Internal Resources
Shore Health and Chester River had a combined total of approximately 50 million records that needed to be converted from their former imaging systems to MEDITECH’s SCA. Minimal resources were required by both facilities and included a few members from each Medical Records department, along with Youngbar and Allison Trumpy, director of information technology at Chester River. Internal responsibilities included mapping the existing Valco and Quantim forms to the new forms in MEDITECH and performing the appropriate data validation. “We’ve been very impressed by the support we’ve received,” says Trumpy. “Forward Advantage’s services were so comprehensive that the burden of this project was taken off of us, and our regular workload remained relatively unaffected.”
Creating a Seamless Transition
Document imaging is relied on by nearly everyone at Shore Health and Chester River, with Medical Records and Patient Financial Services being the primary users. Given this need, it was important for both sites to maintain access to Valco and Quantim while undergoing the conversion to MEDITECH SCA. To manage this, all converted data and new images were accessible to staff via SCA, and data that had yet to be converted was maintained in the old systems. “We tried to do as much as possible to make the transition from one system to the other as seamless as possible,” says Youngbar. “Our doctors have taken to the new system really well and didn’t require a lot of additional training, which was really helpful in getting everyone on board.”
Both Shore Health and Chester River are excited about the transition to MEDITECH’s SCA because of its level of integration with the rest of the HCIS. “Forward Advantage is adding to this integration by converting our existing scanned documents and reports into a format that is accepted by MEDITECH,” says Trumpy. “We can archive this information in the same place that scanned images are stored, creating true electronic medical records.”
“We’re on our way to achieving our ultimate goal of being paperless,” concludes Youngbar. “Forward Advantage has been a great asset to us during this transition to SCA.”
About Forward Advantage
Since 1993, Forward Advantage has provided solid solutions that integrate seamlessly with healthcare information systems; offering products developed in collaboration with MEDITECH for report distribution, HIE products and services, data migration, and identity management. Forward Advantage has over 1,200 installations worldwide and is in the leading position to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions for MEDITECH customers. More information on Forward Advantage’s product and services can be found at www.forwardadvantage.com.