Open EMR data migration from Medisoft?

bertmanphx wrote on Saturday, September 12, 2009:

I am the IT for  a small podiatry practice.  They sub out the install and maintenance of their medical practice software, but I handle the rest.

They are currently using Medisoft and Medinotes, but are unhappy with the bugs, patches, and cost of upgrades.  Their goal is to be paperless.

After some searching, I have suggested Open EMR (I’m a linux guy).  While the install seems straightforward, my concern is migrating all of their data.
It’s not a huge practice,  but has two doctors, and about 1,000 active patients.
Can anyone help suggest how to migrate their data?

Any suggestions is much appreciated.


anonymous wrote on Saturday, September 12, 2009:


The best way would be to see if you can export their current information out as a CSV file (or whichever method they can do it).  I have never worked with MediSoft but I doubt they run on a MySQL database, but if they did then do a full data dump of the database.  Either way you then would make a sql script to the import the data and make the correct mappings while it’s importing into the MySQL database.  We have done something similar for a client and were successful in it.

If you have enough SQL knowledge I am sure that you can get this done.  If you require vendor support you can contact us ( and we can help or look at other vendors at


sunsetsystems wrote on Saturday, September 12, 2009:

The key is to be able to dump the data that you want to convert in a way that satisfies two requirements:

1. It’s machine-readable
2. The format is understood (i.e. documented, or you specified it)

Given this, it’s fairly straightforward for an experienced developer who understands the OpenEMR database structure to write a script to do the conversion.  Generally I have done this with PHP or Perl scripting, as SQL scripting by itself has limited flexibility.

What can make this very difficult/frustrating/expensive is if requirement #2 is not satisfied.


ideaman911 wrote on Saturday, September 12, 2009:

Just a caution based on experience - some of the databases in OpenEMR have logical linkages to others which MUST be coordinated or the data will be inaccessible in OpenEMR.  Dumping the demographics into OpenEMR was pretty simple, but dumping the Insurance info was never workable.

Rod & Brady;  Is it maybe time to think about a data loader which could allow new users to map their current data fields in a CSV to that loader (as I did with Dr Bowen’s loader), and then the loader would perform all the linkages to put it into the OpenEMR database set?  If there are others who are also fed up with the expense of other systems, or other reasons, at least THAT impediment would be withdrawn from their reluctance.  And changing TO OpenEMR from another system is far better testimonial than could ever be obtained from new users alone.

Joe Holzer    Idea Man

sunsetsystems wrote on Saturday, September 12, 2009:

Yes Joe, a more general-purpose data loader would be great, and might be a nice by-product of someone’s conversion without very much extra work.  Just need someone to sponsor the effort.


bertmanphx wrote on Saturday, September 12, 2009:

Thank you all.
I’m not fluid in databases, but have on occasion fiddled with them.
I have the opportunity to setup a test server and see what I can do.
With the information above, I should be able to at least give it a try.

Also, they were faced with the cost of upgrade anyway.  If they really want to go this way, and I cannot import the data, I may have a budget to outsource it.

I’m open to any-body’s input on this.



bertmanphx wrote on Monday, September 14, 2009:

If anyone were willing to share a script they wrote, perhaps I could modify it for my purposes?