Data Migration


During the changes that are a common system thins, the upgrade always takes into consideration the transfer of the existing resources and data from one system to another. The data that is to be transferred therefore must be categorized to ensure that it remain accessible, relevant and adequate for a variety of purposes. This paper will explore the data transfer activities necessary for system changes. The paper will be based on a system upgrade of the admission, discharge and transfer system in the hospital.

The Health Information Management Requirement

With an adequate software, the health information system must be compatible with the software. The data format contained in the system must align to the versions and specifications needed by the software. This makes it easy to transfer the information to the new system.

For instance, it is expected that through the system upgrade, manual data if first converted to a soft version, compatible with the computer systems and the new software. The Health Information Department must, therefore, compile all the available data, organize it and ensure that all the data is planned and categorized before being input into the system.

After the system upgrade, the health information management must further check to ensure that the data input into the system is accessible and adequate. Further monitoring and evaluation of the transfer must also be undertaken under the supervision of qualified system and clinical experts. From the perspective of the health information managers, the process of data transfer must not be done in haste but must be a well-planned process that involves all the stakeholders in both the healthcare and information technology departments.


The Software Requirements

For a system upgrade, the software used must take into consideration the type of data that the system contains. In the admission, discharge and transfer system, the important data is the patient’s personal profile, the medical and surgical history, the social history and family history of the patient and the treatment modalities already practiced. In addition, all the details of the daily and shift-by-shift medical, nursing and interdisciplinary procedures are also recorded in this system.

The software to take up such a system must, therefore, be able to accommodate all this information in a coherent and an acceptable manner. The software must have enough folders and data segregation and categorization domains to take up all the information and arrange it in a way that is accessible and acceptable.



The Data Element to be Carried Forward

Since the system upgrade must ensure that adequate data is transferred to the new system, several pieces of information will have to be fully transferred to the new system. First, all the data concerning the patient’s medical history in the institution and the treatment modalities that have been undertaken will have to be carried forward.

This means that the patients’ names, date of admission, registration numbers, diagnosis and the initial assessment must be transferred. In addition, the day-to-day information regarding the patient treatment and prognosis will also be transferred and categorized. The discharge and transfer summary and follow-up will also be carried forward.

The Data Elements to be ignored

Although all the data concerning the patient is important, all the information collected initially on the patient and that are not relevant to the disease situation or the diagnosis will have to be ignored. This includes the information concerning the family, the occupation, the number of children and other system data that is not relevant to the diagnosis, treatment modalities and the prognosis of the patient.

Data with Long-term Value to the Patients’ treatment

All the information regarding the initial assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the patient is regarded as the data with value to the patient’s care in the long-term. This is because once such data is saved in the archives, it becomes part of the patient’s health history.

This data can, therefore, form part of the basis on which future diagnoses, treatment, and even case analysis will be formed. The data must be transferred and stored well for these reasons.

Data not for Active Patient Care

Among the data to be preserved, there is also the information which is important and relevant to the patient but not to be used directly in patient care. First, the patient’s identification, name, residence and address are not directly related to healthcare. Secondly, the data concerning the patient’s occupation and family history, when not related to the diagnosis is not directly or actively involved in the care of the patient. This kind of data elements is only preserved and made accessible for research and reference purposes.


Data control and transfer are a serious activity that requires comprehensive planning and implementation. The process requires both the information management and the software to be duly involved in the evaluation of all the data that currently is available and what changes must be made to ensure a smooth transfer. Further, the consultation must ensure that the relevant data is transferred and categorized for ease or access. In addition, the process must ensure that there is adequate communication between the system and transfer and all the stakeholders. This communication helps to reduce resistance to change and also improves compliance.


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