What is a Data Import/Conversion?
A Data Import, otherwise known as a data conversion, is the process of moving large amounts of data from a client's legacy system into athenaNet. While it may seem possible to accomplish via API, web services are not the most efficient or effective mechanism to do bulk data imports. For this reason, we require batch files to be used for legacy data imports into athenaNet.
Why batch files?
When it comes to handling thousands or millions of transactions, reading data from a batch file removes significant amount of processing overhead that would otherwise be placed on the web servers. From a performance point of view, reading from a batch or source file is simply more efficient than running millions of individual API calls.
Our APIs were not created to support data conversion projects as we have better tools that are designed specifically for that purpose. athenaNet standard import tools provide additional safety and validation checking. For example, the tools are designed to check for and prevent duplication of records and the API does not check for duplicates in all cases. Under circumstances where bad legacy data is received, an entire import batch can be backed out (reverted) in one fell swoop and our APIs do not provide this critical feature. Posting bad data via API requires an equal number of PUTs/DELETEs to clean up data which can be extremely difficult and time consuming if it occurs on a large scale.
What data can we move into athenaNet using standard import tools?
- Demographic: names, addresses, other pertinent demographic information
- Legacy MRNs and other custom fields
- Fee and Allowable Schedules
- Referring Providers
- Problems List
- Historical Vitals
- Unstructured Notes - free text notes
- Chart Alerts
Similarly, data exports (moving large amounts of data out of athenahealth, such as all patient demographics, all patient charts, etc.) are not permitted, for the same reasons that imports are not permitted.
For questions related to our data import/data conversion capabilities, please reach out to your Project Manager or Customer Success Manager at athenahealth.