The most difficult transition for most offices starting with a new computer system is simply learning the system (some people don’t even know how to use a mouse) and at the same time keeping the daily operations of the practice going. In other words, survival. Often this transition takes so much effort that the office is exhausted just getting by and they never make the effort to learn or use advanced features of the software.
Data transfer: There are two basic issues with data transfer, how much data do you need and how will you input it to the new system? You can transfer most critical data from one system to another electronically. Usually anything, which can be downloaded as an ASCII file, can be transferred. However it is unlikely you will be able to transfer all the information such as old notes, schedules or recall information. But that’s OK.
Keep it Going: This idea is really simple but people often miss it. There is no need to trash the old system once the new one is in place. Keep it up and running. That does not mean you do dual entry and try and use both systems simultaneously, that’s a sure recipe for disaster. Set a day to “go live” with the new system and just do it. Keep the old system available for looking up old information, like last year’s treatment or what the insurance paid six months ago. That’s why you don’t need to transfer every piece of old data, you can always access it from the old system. You will find the need to look up information in the old system will quickly pass and you will rarely access it after a few months. None the less it is there as an archive.
You will probably use the old system for continuing care recall for the first six to twelve months as people and information are added to the new system.