MPI and Data Cleanup When You’re Bringing in Practices

MPI and Data Cleanup When You’re Bringing in Practices

Last month we covered MPI cleanup across hospitals. Three considerations reviewed for preserving data integrity were: resolving enterprise overlaps duplicates, determining surviving records/targets, and merging downstream systems.

An MPI cleanup and data abstraction strategy for physician practices should be a systemwide priority. My advice when you’re consolidating practices is to make your MPI partner experience a priority.

Partner with a credentialed third-party group

One of our clients started with a staffing agency during their Epic transition but quickly realized they couldn’t keep up with demand. According to Todd Williams, System Director of HIM at Baptist Health, “We used a staffing agency for the first two and a half years, but then shifted after go-live because we couldn’t keep the temporary employees in-house. With more acquisitions, we had larger gaps moving from one market to the next. Sometimes we’d have six months in between projects. We needed a partner who could manage the fluctuations with us.”

Intellis’ implementation specialist was able to quickly deploy 600 cross-trained specialists to manage all service lines. This included coders, nurses, and other experienced staff of 40 managers. The project managers jumped in feet first to assess staffing requirements and gave quality input. With 400 to 500 team members across the country, the managers were able to scale credentialed staff from 20/40 people to 50/70 people with ease. “That’s something a temporary staffing agency is not able to do,” said Williams. “Working with an implementation partner made my life easier as a manager.”

In addition to scalability, it’s important to partner with a vendor that has deep experience in data abstraction. You want a team that knows about quality and has a solid, proven QA program in place. When vetting candidates, ask about years of experience for people not just in management, but working in the field. HIM professionals with credentials shouldn’t be limited to the top ranks. It helps to inquire about their experience with different HIT and EHR systems. A credentialed team in all areas of strategy, implementation, and post go-live can make a big difference in efficiency and overall cost.

Set your vendor partner up for success

When you set clear guidelines for your vendor, everyone wins. This means creating a strategy in advance to ensure success. This could include help with getting the vendor team access to different areas and systems. We’ve learned over the years that from initial go-live and beyond, when there’s support from the provider side, data migration goes more smoothly.

Six-phase approach

A northeast region health network with a services footprint that includes over a dozen hospitals and large physician groups selected Epic electronic health records system as a single enterprise EHR. After thorough planning, the health network’s team embarked on the formidable task of migrating 8.3 million patient records from multiple EHRs to the new system.

Intellis led the project with a six-phase approach: holistic assessment, preparation, decision-making, data migration, analytics/reporting, and ongoing evaluation. In addition, a sophisticated rules-based strategy drove decisions and survivorship rules based on relationships with facilities and 400+ downstream systems. View the Case Study.

Intellis COO Addresses Physician Satisfaction During Acquisition

With health system acquisition of physician practices and medical groups steadily increasing since 2012, Intellis COO Glenn Schweidler, RHIA, discusses “How Data Boosts Physician Satisfaction During Acquisition: Real-World Lessons Learned” in Health IT Answers. Read the article here.

Find out more about Intellis HIT solutions.

MPI Clean Up Across Hospitals

Last month we covered hospital merger and acquisition activity and IT implications. One consideration reviewed was the importance of MPI clean up around M&A and EHR integration. 

The sheer complexity of migrating millions of patient records from multiple EHRs into a new system should be a system-wide priority. A master patient index (MPI) clean up strategy to tackle all disparate systems and duplicate patient information across facilities is crucial. 

Intellis’ long-time partner T3K’s Brad Beavais has decades of experience with Epic installations and integrations. Here Brad shares his thoughts on MPI conversion.

Are there any misconceptions about MPI conversion?

Brad Beauvais: A lot of stakeholders outside of HIM don’t understand data that comes over in MPI conversion. But in fact, it’s the lifeblood of an entire patient population. If you need to manage a patient population, you need a good foundation. We can’t build on it, it needs to start off clean. If patient information is bad, we won’t know if a prior diagnosis is good or bad. For instance, if a system is treating 5-10M patients for pre congestive heart failure and 10% of patients have bad data, that’s 1M patients with bad information. Aside from credibility issues, there are a cascading set of events that have to be cleaned up as a result of bad data. However, if MPI is done correctly from the start, you mitigate and avoid several risks – reputational, organizational, and financial. A lot of people don’t think about it. Physician workflow is most important. If you don’t take those things into account, they will haunt you. 

We couldn’t agree with Brad more. MPI conversion and cleanup are ground zero to ensure a successful EHR implementation or upgrade. Here are three tips to ensure data integrity.

Preserve data integrity with MPI execution in three areas: 

  1. Resolve enterprise overlaps and same-source duplicates: This should be done in patient populations of each legacy system. Next, deploy referential matching technology to identify enterprise overlaps and match same-source facility duplicates. Finally, the resulting data should be used to verify each matched case, merge the records, and address the impacts on downstream systems. 
  2. Determine surviving records/targets: A surviving record/target is the designated “source of truth” into which all data for a patient is merged. First, consider leveraging a partner to build a customized merging algorithm using health system-defined parameters. The algorithm is based on a weighted record hierarchy. Factors used to determine the algorithm can be number of visits, most recent visit dates, oldest registration dates, and records that exist in specific downstream systems. Then, a highly trained team should use the algorithm’s specific enterprise and facility rules to determine target records.  
  3. Merge downstream systems: This effort should involve a detailed decision flow process to ensure that all downstream systems are accounted for and appropriately matched with the EHR and EMPI. Project leaders should consider each facility, each ancillary system within that facility, and whether the downstream system overlaps across multiple facilities within the enterprise. 

When done right, MPI clean up enhances patient identity integrity, care delivery, and revenue cycle activities. If you’ve got a project on the horizon or simply want to learn more, visit https://intellisiq.com/

Intellis referenced in Healthcare Innovation article

In Healthcare Innovation’s article “Revenue Cycle Management and the EHR: Looking at an Important Intersection,”  Joe Galdi, vice president of revenue cycle systems at the 14-hospital RWJ Barnabas Health system shared his perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing revenue cycle management in this fraught moment in U.S. healthcare. We’re proud to see Intellis mentioned by Joe Galdi. Read the article here.

Find out more about Intellis MPI Clean-up solutions.

IT Infrastructure Needs in Healthcare

Recently, Healthcare IT Today shared a number of insights into the health data and interoperability needs in healthcare. Now, with insights from Intellis CSO Shawn Van Doren and other experts, they explore some of the more classic IT infrastructure needs in healthcare.

IT Advice During M&A: 3 Tips

M&A Overview

Last year, President Joe Biden ordered the FTC and other federal agencies to promote market
competition in healthcare. Biden said hospital mergers and acquisitions had left the 10 largest
healthcare systems in control of a quarter of the market and led to the closure of hospitals in
rural and other underserved areas.

Yet even as antitrust enforcement builds, total revenue from hospital and health system
mergers and acquisitions (M&A) during the second quarter of 2022 far exceeded that of any
prior year’s second quarter, according to Kaufman Hall’s latest industry report. Some of the
largest healthcare systems are happy to merge. Or they’re buying up surgery centers,
independent practices, and more.

“Provider M&A is here to stay.”

John Lynn, blogger, Health IT Today

The Kaufman report predicts a couple of reasons for the uptick. Hospitals need to find partners
that can help them continue to evolve, including growth in outpatient services, telehealth
programs, and home healthcare. And, smaller hospitals that face financial challenges may see
it’s no longer viable to stay independent and may need partners.

Shifts in healthcare delivery, regulation, and expectations of providers can create both
opportunities and constraints when it comes to IT infrastructure during M&A. From security
risks to duplicate medical records, here are five important IT considerations during the process.

Three IT Considerations During M&A

1. Ensure IT Has a Voice During Due Diligence
M&A transactions require a thorough evaluation of complex IT requirements to encourage data sharing, pinpoint cost savings, and increase clinical value. While CIOs and IT leaders have gained a seat at the table during the due diligence process over the past few years, hard lessons are learned if IT is not part of early discussions. Thorough assessments of IT infrastructure, network capabilities, data centers, and more are required. This ensures a solid understanding of the applications environment and IT staffing requirements, which reduces unnecessary financial, technical, and security risks.

2. Conduct Security Risk Assessments
Introducing new business partners or taking part in a merger or acquisition comes with new security risks that must be considered. Ferdinand Hamada, managing director of healthcare at MorganFranklin Cyber, predicts that a high volume of M&A activity will continue into the rest of 2022, and he encourages healthcare organizations to conduct thorough risk assessments and make sure that new business partners are aligned with the organization’s existing security processes and controls.

MPI Case Study

3. Prioritize Master Patient Index Cleanup
The sheer complexity of migrating millions of patient records from multiple EHRs into a new system can’t be overlooked. A master patient index (MPI) cleanup strategy to tackle all disparate systems and duplicate patient information across facilities is crucial. In fact, when done right, this endeavor enhances patient identity integrity, care delivery, and revenue cycle activities. Case in point: A NJ-based health system that underwent a combination of different M&As over seven years was tasked with migrating Epic into 14 hospitals and 1,000 providers. The consolidation happened over time, where multiple organizations came together and made for a challenging situation. There were nine different EHR systems and approximately 650 downstream systems, including labs, radiology, respiratory, and more. After thorough planning, the health network’s team embarked on the formidable task of migrating 8.3 million patient records from multiple EHRs to the new system. You can learn more about this project here.

Keep IT Agile During M&A

With no end in sight to M&A activity, it is imperative that CIOs and IT leaders get involved early
on to plan for the situations listed above. Keeping information systems agile, adaptable,
efficient, and powerful across healthcare organizations is essential. Click here to learn how
Intellis can support MPI cleanup and more.


By Glenn Schweidler, RHIA
Chief Operations Officer and Partner

Weighing In on Oracle Acquisition and New Vision

Following Oracle’s  $28.4 billion acquisition of Cerner Corporation, board chair and CTO Larry Ellison announced his vision of a national health records database. Health IT Answers reached out to Intellis Chief Operations Officer Glenn Schweidler, RHIA, and other industry leaders to find out what they think about developing a national health records database. https://www.healthitanswers.net/leaders-weigh-in-on-oracle-acquisition-and-new-vision/

Clinical Data Abstraction Services

At Intellis, we’re HIM industry leaders for EHR conversion and clinical data abstraction, and we’ve successfully converted more than three million records.

Comprised of highly trained, experienced abstractors, the Intellis team assists organizations in smooth transitions from paper charts and legacy systems to targeted EHRs. Our skilled professionals abstract physician practice and clinic records from multiple sources and then input data according to practice-specified key clinical data elements including medication lists, problem lists, progress notes, immunizations, allergies, and surgical, family, and social histories. Our process provides a complete “source of truth” for the patient in the EHR system and is completed before the patient’s next visit.


Need more info, get our clinical data abstraction overview.


The Intellis Advantage

  • A Lean Approach Reducing Waste and Waits
  • Stronger Data Quality Integrity
  • Increased Support for Health System initiatives
  • Smoother migration and EHR adoption
  • Increased Physician and Clinical care staff satisfaction
  • Enhanced revenue cycle management

To find out more, contact our Team.

Intellis Announces Patient Identity Management Partnership

Partnership supports highly accurate patient matching and patient record management for providers as they implement new EHR platforms

At Intellis, we’re trusted industry experts offering customized and flexible revenue cycle management services for hospitals and health systems. We’re proud to enhance our efforts with a new partner. We’re teaming with Verato a leading provider of cloud-based identity resolution services. Together we’re enabling customers to leverage integrated technology and services. This ensures accurate matching of patient medical and financial records with the right patient.

Behind the numbers

A Pew Trust research analysis found that when healthcare organizations do not have the right capabilities in place for patient matching, the resulting errors have a significant impact on patient safety and healthcare costs:

  • One in five hospital chief information officers links an instance of patient harm to a mismatch in patient records.
  • Up to half of patient records are not accurately matched during transfers from one facility to another, such as from a rural hospital to an urban facility.
  • Up to one in five patient records within the same health system are not accurately matched with patients.

Sometimes, these errors are due to typos made while inputting patient information during registration. Also, patient information changes, data formatting issues, and insurance fraud are culprits. Mismatched records are expensive to fix: One hospital spent $96 per patient record to resolve duplicate records in its system.

President’s perspective

“The partnership between Intellis and Verato increases efficiency in EHR consolidation. Also, it aids clinicians at the point of care when the ability to access the right information quickly is critical to providing trusted care,” says Dan Cooke, President, Intellis. “We’re pleased to partner with Verato in providing state-of-the-art solutions for seamless integration and migration of EHRs. Our joint “services plus solutions” approach protects the integrity of patient data as well as patient safety.”

EHR Case Study: WellSpan Health Epic Conversion and Data Abstraction

During WellSpan Health’s Epic EHR conversion, the Intellis team consolidated five legacy EHRs, overcame significant interface match challenges, achieved over 99 percent accuracy, and delivered all key clinical data on day one. View the case study.

WellSpan Health is an integrated health care system headquartered in York, Pennsylvania. WellSpan works to ensure that inpatient, out-patient, home health, and physician services are accessible throughout the region. The health system includes:

  • Providing care at six area hospitals
  • Offering services at more than 130 outpatient locations
  • Operating a regional home care organization

WellSpan launched “Project One,” to consolidate its five legacy EHRs and convert the entire system to the Epic EHR platform. At an estimated cost of $188.7 million over three years, the goal was to create uniformity, better connect providers with patients, and improve care coordination. WellSpan chose Intellis as a partner to support “Project One” by reducing costs, increasing accuracy, improving productivity, ensuring timely project completion, and successfully converting over 250,000 patient records to the Epic EHR platform. Contact us to learn more.

The health system expected delays, but they didn’t happen due to a ton of preparation work on the part the system’s workforce. WellSpan’s announcement of successful Epic EHR conversion go live:  WellSpan Epic EHR goes live without a hitch | Healthcare IT News

“We recognized that we couldn’t function as one complete system, if we had multiple records and systems in place, We called it ‘Project One,’ not for its prioritization, but as it’s about one organization.”

— WellSpan Senior Vice President and CIO Hal Baker, MD